Social Networking is all the rage! Web sites like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ryze, and more are popping up every day and working their way not only into our personal lives, but our professional lives as well. As a business professional, Social Networking can be your biggest boon… leading to new connections you may have not been able to make any other way – without great difficulty that is; Or, it can be your biggest bane… enticing you to continuously waste your most precious commodity, your time. The choice is yours. Social Networking can become whatever you want it to become for both you and your business. Now anticipating that you want value for your efforts, in this 2-part series, I’m going to share with you 10 keys that can help make your online Social Networking efforts a success.
1. Personalize Your Invitations to Connect
Just because you can hide behind your computer doesn’t give you an excuse to be lazy. Give people a reason to want to connect and network with you. Don’t send dry and impersonal invites to connect … ever! I don’t care who you’re looking to connect with. In my opinion, because of its already built-in cold nature, social networking requires even more personality and vitality injected into it, than traditional offline networking.
2. You’ve Got to Give In Order to Get
Nobody likes to hang out around the proverbial “taker”. You know… the type of person you don’t pick up the phone for when they call… thank you Caller ID! So to make sure you don’t end up like our friend “taker”, always be on the lookout for, as Dr. Stephen Covey says in his much heralded book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, opportunities to make deposits into the personal bank accounts of others.
3. Think Quality, Not Quantity
Social Networking shouldn’t be a popularity contest to see who has the most connections. You’re better off having fewer mutually lucrative and beneficial relationships than having tons of connections that bear no fruit.
4. Be Authentic
Nobody likes a liar… a cheater … a fake… a phony… or whatever you call someone who presents themselves as something they’re not. Be true to yourself and others and your natural magnetism will shine through. And it’s that magnetism that brings stronger more genuine connections that can really bring results. Yes we can all improve our game a bit here or there but, trust that you’ll bring more to the table when you’re being yourself.
5. Open the Door and Let Them In
The more you’re willing to share about yourself, the more parallels others can draw between you. These parallels can serve as a great stimulus for conversations to begin. Having things in common certainly helps break down comfort-level barriers. People tend to be more willing to connect and engage in conversations with others who share similar backgrounds, experiences, tastes, hobbies, et cetera. So be willing to share a bit about you. Just be careful not to share anything you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to know because once it’s posted online, it’s available to all to see.
So in closing, remember that these keys only work if you diligently and consistently apply them. And I firmly believe that much like the offline world, strong relationships lie at the core of any and all business success.