How to Build Influential Relationships in Social Media

In this webinar, Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara discusses how to communicate and connect on social media with Mitch Jackson, attorney, social media enthusiast and author of The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Business Owners, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs.

Mitch not only uses social media to build his brand, but he also teaches others about the power of branding and networking to develop authentic relationships.


Build Your Brand

Whatever business you’re in, start building your brand on social media. Start sharing content that’s inspirational and educational, and start engaging in a relevant and authentic way.

Most people aren’t great at writing content but they have ideas they’d like to share to help people. Identify influencers in and around the areas of your promise, such as thought leaders. Share their content with hashtags and appropriate attribution, which will start conversations with people looking to improve in those areas. Before you know it, you’ll be received as a thought leader on those subjects without having to write any content.

Share examples of how you’re adding value to a community through your products or services or your passions or interests. It’s the best way to build your brand.

Show Your Human Side

The biggest mistake business owners, professionals, and entrepreneurs can make is jumping on social media and sharing the wrong content and wondering why nothing happens. With social media today, it’s about emphasizing the human side of who you are and what you do in order to connect. The more you humanize yourself, the more real and connected people will be with you.

Take a step back and really make an effort to show your human side. What is it that keeps you doing what you do each day, above and beyond your occupation, your profession? Share that content, your true north, on social media. Give yourself permission to show your human side, whether it’s as a soccer mom, a cross country skier or a flying drones enthusiast. Follow your compass.

If you do that as a professional or business owner, you’re going to separate yourself from everyone else that’s sharing content. It’s all about your audience and your audiences ‘why.’ When their why and their need align with your why and your ability to offer solutions and value, that’s where the magic happens on social media.

“Life is a social business and social people buy from people they like, know and trust. Take your business relationships from LinkedIn to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, because that’s where people expose their personalities. You need to expose your personal side to create deeper connections that will override any business issues.” – Jon Ferrara

Have the Right Mindset

Why is mindset so important for relationship success on social media? Because a lot of people approach social with the wrong mindset. They think it’s all about them and their products and services. It’s not. It’s about having a mindset of giving and helping.

If you’re going to dive into social media, you have to have the right mindset and the right intent. If you think it’s going to be a place for you to sell more stuff or get attention, you have the wrong intent. 

Your mindset should not be about talking about your products and services, but talking about how you can help others grow better, smarter, faster. Because people don’t buy great products, they buy better versions of themselves.

Your mindset going into social media should be to build a persona to become the trusted advisor of the constituency around you, not just prospects and customers, but their influencers as well, so that when people need your products and services, they not only pick up the phone and call you, but they bring their friends with them.

If you simply give your knowledge away on a daily basis, you can establish yourself as a trusted advisor so people will look to you when they need help.

Understand the Personalities of the Platforms

To use each platform successfully, you need to understand the dynamics and personality of each.

On Twitter, you’ve got to be fast and able to make quick turns. Your content is short, sweet, and to the point. LinkedIn is all about networking and professional content while Facebook is very personal and community minded. Consider who you’re targeting and who’s on each platform before you begin.

Each platform has its own unique personality, and if you use the platforms with that understanding in mind, you’ll find success. Without that appreciation, you’ll be spinning your wheels.

“Anyone can go on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook and set up an account. But just because you do that doesn’t mean you’re going to have a successful experience on social media. You have to understand how to use the platforms or you’re likely to make a lot of critical mistakes on social media.” – Mitch Jackson

Repurpose Your Content

Professionals are busy, and time and attention are your two greatest assets. By repurposing content, you can get back more of both. For example, if you hold a webinar, you can take short 30 or 60-second clips and share them on Twitter with a link back to a blog post featuring the webinar. You can also share images from the webinar on Instagram, Snapchat or LinkedIn.

There are all types of ways to create content once and then repurpose that content over the next week or several months on different platforms to amplify your voice and share your message. Over the long term, you’ll be able to help more people in more places on a global level.

Highlight Your Expertise

Once you find people you might want to connect to, listen to conversations and engage and add value to the conversation at the right time. 

If you’re a professional, you have specialized training. Once you start jumping in the conversation, highlight your expertise, your profession. In other words, when people on social media are ready to receive your message, you’ve got credentials that will give you credibility, whether you’re a professional, doctor, lawyer, CPA, or CEO of a company.

Your message will have more impact on your audience because of your expertise and education, so don’t discount or minimize it when it comes time to join the conversation. It will give you more credibility than someone else.

At the right time, let people know that you’re a doctor or lawyer or you started multiple companies or have your own startup because it will give you street cred on social and it’s just one of the many things that people consider when deciding how much time or attention to give to your message.

Communicate and Connect

Successful communication requires a mix of inspiration and education with personality.

When you’re communicating on social, it’s important to keep these three things in mind:

1) Be engaging and animated

2) Entertain people

3) Keep their attention

What are the top 10 questions you get asked in your profession or as a business owner? Answer each of those questions in a two to three-minute video, podcast or blog post. Respond in an engaging, pithy and entertaining way and you’ll leave a memorable impression on the viewer, listener or reader. It’s not just about providing an answer, it’s about doing so in a way that’s going to make an impact using stories, emotions, and metaphors.

To find out how you can help people, ask short, open-ended questions and listen. They’ll tell you everything you need to know about how you might be able to serve them. Then engage and add value. Because if all you do is share and don’t actually engage, you’re never going to make connections that turn into customers.

Make sure that engagement is real and relevant. To make every connection a ‘REAL-lationship,’ build a meaningful connection that’s truly authentic, relevant and human. If you do that right, you’ll be successful. That’s how you connect on social media.

Real-time social media is all about listening to what other people are saying. If they’re excited about something and you can help them with their passions and their interests, go out of your way to do it. It’s not only fun to do and connect people, but it’s also mutually beneficial to all parties.” – Mitch Jackson

We connect on the commonalities of life so share those to build intimacy and trust with your audience to get them to open up to you about their business issues, which as a professional you can then solve.

And don’t be afraid to reach out and pick up the phone. If you’re offering something of value, people actually want to hear from you.

But remember things don’t just happen overnight. You have to put in the time and the work. Be helpful, listen, share and add value to your community. Build those meaningful connections and the customers will follow.

“Social media is not a sprint, there’s no finish line. It’s more like a good diet or workout plan. It’s something you need to consistently do over and over.” – Mitch Jackson

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