Social Media Networking: 3 Steps to Great Relationships

Networking with social media will result in some of the most valuable relationships you’ve ever known with people you’ve never been able to reach before. It breaks down the political walls and geographic divides allowing for the creation and deepening of relationships. Here are some steps to make it happen for you.

Step 1: Have a Strong Online Reputation

Before you start seeking connections, check your own social reputation. It is about creating a brand for yourself so it’s clear who you are the moment someone looks at your social profiles. This shows credibility and will make your new connections ready and excited to connect further. Consider these questions to understand your level of credibility:

  • Have I said anything negative about a brand? We’ve all had those frustrating moments with a company but complaining on Facebook will cause more harm than good when it comes to networking. That new connection might be affiliated with one of those brands. You can’t change what you’ve already said but you can avoid it in the future.

  • Do I have a weak presence? Who are your connections on LinkedIn? Is your LinkedIn page 100% complete? Do you have a strong Twitter following? Do you Tweet frequently? Is your Twitter avatar just an egg? What’s your Klout score? Consider how you can build your network.

  • Am I completely lost when it comes to the latest trends? Just like any field, being up to speed on the industry is critical. You’ll be unable to join the conversation if you don’t understand the topic. For social media, I check out Mashable,MarketingProfs and Mediapost.

Step 2: Get Creative with Networking

There is so much clutter online and offline that creativity is critical for breaking through.

  • Use both the online and offline channels. It’s not just about Tweeting or emailing those aspiring connections. Attend events and follow up with your new connections online. If you make a new connection on Twitter, find ways to meet in person.

  • Use Twitter to the max. There are plenty of Twitter chats and Twitter handles to discuss your topics of interest. While engaging in Twitter chats, you might see an interesting opportunity, whether it’s a person or brand. Tweet at them with that specific topic and hashtag. They’ll see it and likely respond back.

  • Use LinkedIn to learn who knows who. If there’s a company you’re aspiring to join or a person you’d love to meet, research them on LinkedIn to see their connections. Oftentimes you’ll have similar connections and suddenly, you have a conversation starter.

Step 3: Keep the Conversation Going with Content.

Content fuels conversation and bringing fresh, new content into the social space will enhance your presence. It will also lead to new connections and conversations.

  • Keep your blog updated. Write regularly and share your latest posts on your social channels. As people comment and share your posts, be sure to thank them and ask for feedback.

  • Find a new favorite social channel and use it. Whether it’s YouTube, Pinterest or Vine, look for ways to establish yourself on other channels besides your blog, Facebook or Twitter. There are new connections on these platforms and they enable you to express your ideas and creativity in other ways.

  • Read and share content from people you value. And don’t just Retweet, add your own thoughts to the Tweet. This creates conversation and will get others to read your content too.

What other tips and tricks do you have for networking with social media? I’d love to hear them and I’ll be sure to check the comments and respond back.

Amanda Nelson is Manager of Content for Salesforce Marketing Cloud where she leads a team of writers to curate and create content for the brand including blog posts, infographics, ebooks, webinars, presentations, data reports and more.

Amanda has worked on all facets of advertising on both the agency and corporate side with clients including JetBlue, Puff Daddy, Atlantic Records and Cisco. She has spoken at over a dozen conferences across the country.