Most of social media seems haphazard – a Tweet here, a Facebook post there. It’s time to stop the random acts of social media and ask yourself, “Am I connecting with people intentionally or haphazardly?
Are you connecting with people beyond the status update? More importantly for professionals is this question: “Am I building relationships with both prospects and existing customers in an authentic way?”
There are a few easy ways to make the most out of social media to do just this. I always recommend starting with LinkedIn. LinkedIn for too many has become the “set it and forget it” network but it’s one of the most important networks for a professional.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and when you have made a new contact via email or phone with a new prospect, send them a personal note on LinkedIn to connect.
- LinkedIn is an easy first step to connect via social media.
- Keep your profile right up to date. Check it regularly and keep it fresh.
- Send personal notes to invite new connections, and follow up quickly for further bonding.
If you have a Nimble account, you can use it to keep entirely organized so you’ll always know who you’ve been in contact with and why they matter to you. With Nimble you can even set up “stay in touch” reminders so you can confidently deepen (and add value to) these genuine social relationships over time.
Relationships in social media are built with these tiny interactions over the course of time – a like, a comment, a share, a retweet – all add up. Think about how we feel when someone validates what we post – it connects us to that person. These connections build relationships in an authentic way.
- Keep your most important relationships current and dynamic.
- Set “Stay in Touch” reminders so you are always building the relationship.
- Build connections that turn into relationships (that turn into business).
The next way to connect is Twitter. Search out your clients and prospects on Twitter. If they are there and active, put them into a private list. Then look at that list a few minutes a day and re-tweet content that you like, tweet articles to them that are relevant to them, etc. Be intentional about connecting — educate and show thought leadership.
- Search for clients, prospects, influencers.
- Categorize them into lists.
- Take a few minutes every day to tweet and retweet to Twitter connections in a relevant way.
Lastly, connecting with clients and prospects on Facebook is key, too. Asking them to like your business page – and giving them a reason to connect as well as sending them a friend request. Be careful here, though – I would not friend request every prospect – make sure you are on a friendly level with them before doing so.
Once you are friends you can also create private lists. Personally, I have a “clients” and “potential clients” list that I look at daily. So instead of seeing the 500+ friends I have on Facebook, I can narrow it down to just the dozen or so clients I am working with currently..
- Connect and request “likes” — and give them value for their “like.”
- Send friend requests, judiciously.
- Create private lists for categories like “clients” and “potential clients.”
- Keep in touch with current contacts regularly.
Sharing Interests and Passions
It’s easy to be the person doing all the talking in social media, but to really connect with your clients and prospects – the beauty is in listening and noticing.
Search out your clients and prospects on Instagram and Pinterest too – you may find insights on who they are personally, their hobbies and passions – and these are areas where you may be able to connect with them.
Remember, people do business with us because of our expertise, professionalism, and service — but they connect with us and come back to us time and time again because of a personal connection – such as shared interests and passions!