If you are running your business online, then it only makes sense to build your network through social media. These days it’s a must, if you hope to get noticed by your peers and customers. However, to achieve the best results it’s important to approach it properly. Take time to understand all the benefits of each different social network and focus on the ones that are the best match for your business.
– Who’s Your Audience?
The first place to start is by finding out which network your audience uses the most. Do they like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn? Maybe they are more into YouTube, Pinterest or Snapchat. Think about the leaders in your industry. Check out their social profiles. Once you know where they are you can begin connecting with them.
Start by getting involved in groups that include people you’d like to build relationships with. For professional networking, the best places to participate in groups are on LinkedIn and Facebook.
If they like Twitter, then join some Twitter chats. These are generally at a set time and during the chat, you’ll use a hashtag that identifies the chat and shows your participating in the conversation.
There are several ways you can find twitter chats. Using sites like TweetReports or Twubs can make the job a little easier. You can also host a twitter chat, where you set up the time and hashtag, and invite others to join in.
Tip: you can register your hashtag on Twubs to get more participants.
If you’d like to know more about Twitter chats here is a post from Hootsuite that can help: https://blog.hootsuite.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-twitter-chats
As you participate in groups and chats keep note of the people you might like to connect with one-on-one. then follow or friend them, so you can connect with them and begin developing a working relationship.
– Participate frequently
You’ll want to post and comment on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to include a set time in your schedule for social networking. For example, you may want to spend an hour in the morning posting or commenting or maybe split that up into shorter blocks of time throughout the day. It may take some time to find the perfect schedule for your business, but once you do it will become a part of your daily routine.
– Offer value
To get the best results always offer something of value to your network as opposed to always asking for something. Don’t join in just to sell. Always keep in mind that the whole point of networking on social media is to be social. This means you must interact and engage with your connections. Don’t start by asking them to do or buy something, instead see what you can do for them, be helpful and informative.
– Track your progress
Know what kind of posts are getting the most interaction and what time you’re posting them. This will help you connect better with your audience by knowing what they like to see and when they’re most likely to see it.
Social networking can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. It offers fast and affordable ways to build relationships with people in your industry, just remember it’s a two-way street. The goal is to create a highly interactive community that can help you grow your business, so be sure to give if you hope to receive.