(Written by Guest Blogger – D’vorah Lansky)
How do you make your online social networking relationships some of the best relationships you have? Follow discussions and get to know people who are writing on topics that are of interest to you. If people capture your attention, go to their profile pages and click on the link to visit their Web sites. In that way you can find out more about them and their business. This will also provide you with information in case you are inspired to start up a conversation with them.
I have established several very important business connections in this way. The beauty of these types of relationships is that the connection usually happens because people genuinely like and/or admire one another. In the online community, it is not unusual to team up on projects or create joint venture partnerships.
Get Involved in Conversations
When you login to Facebook or LinkedIn you can see the update feed for people in your network and you also get to see whom they’re interacting with and what groups they are participating in. The best way to grow relationships is to become known as a giver. Take time to answer questions in your area of expertise. That’s going to show that you’re a giving person as well as a knowledgeable person. When it comes across that you care more about people than you do about selling, people will take note.
On LinkedIn you can ask questions of the community. If you ask a question that’s clearly a sales pitch, people are going to disregard you or think poorly of you. At the same time, if you ask a thought provoking question, people will respond. I have a story about this. My company had recently expanded into Australia. I was looking for ideas on how to connect with professionals in that country and thus decided to reach out to the LinkedIn community. I carefully worded my question by sharing that, “Our company has expanded into Australia. I would really value your input as I’m looking for ideas on how I can connect with professionals in Australia.” I didn’t say, “Do you live in Australia? I can help you grow your business.” I reached out for help.
I got 35 responses in 24 hours. I was amazed and appreciative. I wrote to one person and said, “I so appreciate your suggestion. I’d like to ask you a question, though. Why did you take the time to answer me?” They had provided me with a very thorough answer and many of the other responses included personal introductions to individuals or to organizations. The response I received was, “Oh, that’s easy. I always see you on the networks answering other people’s questions. I was glad to help.” So in social networking it is key to be respectful of people and participate in conversations, questions, answers, forums, and/or interest groups.
Tips for Harnessing the Power of Social Networking To Grow Your Business
Once you have developed a presence on the social networking platforms with your name, brand, and Web site information as well as your photograph, you will begin to get noticed for your expertise, provided, of course, that you have shared information and joined along in conversations with others. Remember, the key to building relationships and community is to give of yourself with no expectation of getting anything in return. This simple concept will set you apart from the rest and ultimately get you noticed.
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All the best,
Relationship Marketing Wizard | Author | Speaker | Educator