Jun 102012

Business Social Networking- LinkedinBusiness Social Networking: Build numbers or build relationships? You may have asked yourself after hearing all this stuff about connecting with your audience “How can I possibly create a relationship with all the friend requests?” Let’s get into a few strategies on how to do it timely and effectively.

Today it seems like everyone is concerned with acquiring one the many labels out there, which provide more and more false sense of accomplishment every day. There are the LinkedIn LIONs (Linked In Open Networker) with more than 500 1st generation connections, then the Twitter Gurus with tens of thousands of followers , and let’s not forget the Facebook Ninjas with their multiple thousands of “friends.”

Business Social Networking Guru'sDoes any of this really matter? Yes and No. Obviously you want a large audience and it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking all you need is more connections, but most of us sacrifice relationships for numbers. With all the marketing mediums changing everyday people DO NOT want to be sold to. Now think about the strategy of just building large numbers of connections, what are you going to do with them once you have them?

Your goal may be to add value, but you barley know anything about the audience so how can you possibly add value to thousands of people that you don’t even know?

The answer is: it is a massive hit or miss.

Quality over quantity. This is the difference between working smart or working hard. Obviously having a large number of contacts is great, you don’t want a small audience of only a bunch of people you know. “New blood” is the life-source any business, however time must be dedicated to interacting with select people you have deemed your “Hot Prospects.”

Business Social Networking Ninja!These are people you have personally looked into and have determined that developing a relationship could be mutually beneficial.

Ok, but what can I do to continue building a strong following, personalize select connections, and manage my time most effectively?

Here are 4 ideas to help you out:

1) Create Lists

You can create lists on each of the networks. (On LinkedIn they are called Tags) What is great about creating lists is it enables you to categorize your contacts. So instead of having just a big hodgepodge of people you have them organized into categories set to your specification so you can keep an eye on the key players you want to build a stronger relationship with.

2) Use Social Media Dashboards

Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are the first 2 that come to mind. There are quite a few out there here is a link to a great review site for many of others Click HERE. These help you organize multiple social networks in one place so you can organize your lists and communicate with everyone without having to log in to all the sites directly.

3) Talk to you new connections

No I did not use talk as a metaphor for email, dm, private message, or inmail. Actually use a phone for something other than taking pictures or going online and call someone! If getting away from your computer is too much of a stretch use Skype.

You will be amazed at someone’s willingness to talk with you. We are so accustomed to all of the digital forms of communication when someone we meet online asks to speak with us that it is a HUGE pattern interrupt and they almost can help but saying “Sure.”

Try to set just a few phone appointments with new connections a week and watch how your exposure, traffic, and credibility increase.

4) Exponentially expand your network

Two tools I enjoy are Toplinked and Tweetadder. It may seem like I am contradicting myself a little here, but I think having more friend requests to sort from empowers you to be a little more choosey when adding new contacts. Big numbers can really become more of an ego booster than an income generator if not utilized properly.

I would much rather sort through inbound connections than blindly search. At least these people potentially have some kind of interest in you. Although, every 2-3 weeks I do a personal search for some interesting people to start trying to connect with.

Pretty much what this all sums up to is plant the seeds now and reap the harvest later. I know kind of an obvious notion, but the success in using social networking for business stems from mastering the mundane.

Master the simple tasks over time and you will be astonished how your business’s social networks are going to begin spinning off income.

What is your favorite social networking tool?

Mar 202009


How can you maximize your advertising and networking, dollar and time?

Well, first thing is first, budget your time wisely. Many of us have multiple projects going on at one time, and multitasking is realistically getting farther behind than ahead.

There are four areas of our business that take up a lot of our time: Meetings, Paperwork/emails, Networking meetings, and Online Networking. A questions I am often asked when brainstorming with colleagues is “how do you find so much time to go to networking meetings, when do you work?” This is an easy answer because I know what my revenue generating activity is, and meeting more people to keep my pipeline filled is more beneficial than sitting getting paperwork done during business hours. All other activities get scheduled around networking and meeting with people. Have a one on one with someone before and after a networking meeting.

These two activities are really the ONLY activities that have a true schedule or must be done during traditional business hours. Paperwork, emails, online networking can all be done before 9 and after 5 if you really do have to catch up on things.

Traditional networking meetings and online networking can be more useful than you can possibly imagine! The power of aligning yourself with other likeminded people will grow your business exponentially. If you haven’t been in the networking scene very long here are a few articles you can check out that will help you out: networking articles.

For you professionals who know how to connect with people AND get others connected it is no different doing it online. I hear people asking all the time “how do I utilize Facebook, Linked-In, and all of these other sites?” GO MAKE FRIENDS!!! An easy way to think of it is you are at a networking event, but you have total control of the professions, industries, and people you meet. Really the internet is a networking event on steroids.

It is easy to build a friends list, just like it is easy to collect cards, but what are you doing or what can you do to connect and be a valuable resource to others? If you are just adding friends to your social networking accounts it is no different than collecting cards and filing them. You must make the effort to converse and build relationships with people online.

There is no excuse, you don’t even have to leave your living room!! It is great to build your network and add 10-20 new friends or collect 10-20 new cards a day, but if you aren’t willing to invest the time to build a relationship with others you are doing no more than spinning your wheels.

Let’s get back to the basics and ask the simple question of “how are you doing today and is there anything I can help you with?”

There is your million dollar question.