It should go without saying that to make the best use of a social network, you have to network! Building relationships starts with a friend request or invite, but it doesn’t end there. Get to know the people you are connected with. Answer their questions, send them a link or piece of information now and again, and read their profiles.
Social media sites can be great ways to promote a brand, promote your business, find clients, get jobs, find new employees, and build relationships, but they just don’t “just work”. They’re tools, not machines – you have to use them, not just put in some inputs and wait for them to do their magic.
Let people know why you’re there, and what your purpose is, and what makes you, you!
Give people a reason to pay attention to you. Although most people in your network will stay in your network indefinitely if you don’t do anything at all, having connections because they’ve forgotten you’re there is hardly the best use of a social media network.
Post something to your front page, blog, wall, or whatever it is every now and then, so that people learn something about you.
Here are 8 tips to keep you at the forefront with Social Media –
- Integrity – Don’t be a phony! Be yourself; it’s what your social network friends added you for. People who follow you because you appear to be something you’re not will quickly un-follow you. Social media is about people connecting on a human level and being genuine and trustworthy goes a long way in the online world.
- Personality – Social Networking is about connections between people, not profiles! Make use of the means for self-expression offered by each service. Worry less about finding the perfect background for your 5 favorite songs and more about creating something people want to pay attention to.
- Focus – Signing up for social networking sites and social news sites is easy, but unless you’re willing to put in some work, you won’t get much out of it. You need to keep your profile reasonably up-to-date, maintain at least a marginally active presence, and talk to other people now and again to make it work. Pick a handful of services and sites to put a lot of energy into and that you truly have time to really commit, and stay off the rest!
- Giving – You have to put into social networks in order to get out from them. This is basic human nature, anthropologist call it “reciprocity”. If you want recommendations on LinkedIn, start writing some, people will usually return the favor. If you want followers on Twitter, start following people, once again, people will usually return the favor. Once you do something for someone, they will generally want to do something for you in return. But you have to take the lead.
- Add Value – This is the single most important thing to remember on any social network site. Do whatever it takes to make your posts, your profile, your story submissions, or whatever the “currency” of the site is, as valuable as possible. You add value when you submit a link sure, but you add more value when you explain why I would want to read it!
- Have a clear purpose – Know what you’re using a social networking site for. While it’s completely acceptable to have a profile for “hanging out”, you need to know that hanging out is its purpose. If you are using a social networking site to try and build an audience, connect with professionals, or meet your next wife, it should be focused on achieving that end. Don’t muddy the waters by trying to advertise your dog-walking service, pick up dates for the weekend, post pictures of the company picnic, and build an audience for your homemade Star Wars science fiction video series.
- Complete your profile – You’d be surprised how many people never do this. Yet it’s the first thing people want to know about you. Most people check all the boxes (I’m an Aquarius, in a relationship…done!) but don’t do much with the real meat of their profile, the About Me section. Put some thought into what you want people to know about you and why people should care.
- Accept everyone – There are two schools of thought on this: create an inner circle of close colleagues, comrades, or companions; or create a huge body of followers, fans, or ex-girl – and boyfriends. People who are willing to invest their attention in what you’re doing, who have given you permission to “broadcast” your life to them. Welcome them
It can be tempting to sign up for dozens of social networking sites, especially when different contacts turn up on different sites. But it’s nearly impossible to make use of a dozen different sites, unless you figure out how to make a career at it.
Instead pick one or two sites and focus all your energies on creating, useful, meaningful connections there. Join hiredMYway.com on Facebook and keep the conversation going, we’re here to help!
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