Social Media Networking: What Impression Are You Leaving?
This post is not about social media. It’s about social media networking.
It doesn’t instruct you on infographics, tell you how to use the right tags, guide you on LinkedIn changes, reveal the secrets of Facebook, or construct a marketing blitz. It offers professional people skills tips to increase trust and boost business — once your social media gets people’s attention.
Social Media Networking: Professional People Skills Tips
Picture it. Social media has made others aware of your business. Now what? How do you interact to keep that positive buzz alive? Here’s how social media networking pros do it.
Be prepared! Learn about others before you contact them.
Example: Another customer service speaker saw my customer service social media posts. She emailed me about referring engagements to each other. Her email included her one sheet, link to her footage, and how much she charges. She wanted to know what kind of speaking I did and how much I charge. This was the first time I had heard from her. We had no pre-existing relationship.
If she had viewed the footage on my website, as I did hers, she would have realized we have the same target audience. Her intention may have been to build a network for mutual referrals. However since she didn’t learn about me before contacting me, her actions contradicted her words. She left the impression that she was on a fishing expedition not a journey to mutual success.
Engage before you need help. Give before you receive.
Share others’ posts. Interview them. Give them great social media shout outs. Invest a little time to build their trust. Contacting people only when you want them to promote your book, attend your webinar, or buy your product says gimme gimme gimme. It’s a turn-off.
Social media networking is about building relationships to reach your goals. Without the relationship, it’s self-absorbed selling.
Communicate your purpose clearly.
Example: A podcast host invited me via email to be a guest on his customer experience show. I replied with a few questions and he sent me an information packet. In the email he mentioned they do these as joint promotions and would work with me as time drew near. To me that meant that he and I would promote that podcast.
When I opened the information packet, I found pages and pages of his speaking engagement credits. This was a different picture. What was his true purpose? To develop and promote a quality podcast on customer experience or mass market his speaking to other speakers? I passed on the offer. It was social media not social media networking.
Reach out sincerely. If you don’t want to network, don’t reach out.
Example: A customer service speaker whom I knew somewhat on social media also emailed me about mutual referrals. It was a well written email. He noted the engagements that he loves to take on if I didn’t want them. I asked if we could speak briefly sometime to get to know each other a bit more. He replied that a family member was ill and he was short on time. I can certainly understand that.
But then he added: “Besides it was just a casual request.” He was using social media — transmitting information — not engaging in social media networking. Asking for referrals without a relationship says, “Give me help but don’t ask me for anything.” This doesn’t build trust. It doesn’t produce referrals. It doesn’t boost business.
Engage on a blog before you ask to guest post.
Once or twice a week I get emails from people I don’t know asking if they can guest post on my blog. They always provide links to the posts they’ve written elsewhere and tell me all about themselves. Once again they are using social media but not engaging in social media networking.
If you want to guest post for a blog, read and leave comments on that blog. Show that you understand the blog’s purpose. Share the blog’s posts on social media. Interact with others that are leaving comments. The blog owner gets to know how you will promote the blog as well as how you write.
Give before you asked to be featured. You build trust and gratitude. This is the value of social media networking.
Expand your view. Think from the outside in.
To interact well with people you don’t know, first learn how they think. Be very curious and explore their view of the issue that interests you both. This outside-in thinking makes bonding and building trust much easier. If you aren’t interested in their views, why would they be interested in helping you or boosting your business?
Do your research to learn about others. Then engage. While social media is about you, social media networking is about you and others.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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