Business Networking and Social Media

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By Gail Stolzenburg

You don’t have a choice.  If you want to effectively promote your business or your ideas, you MUST be involved with social media.  With 1.3 billion people on Facebook, 343 million on Google, 300 million on LinkedIn, and 255 million on Twitter, can you afford to miss connecting with them?

Last year, I read a great article in Forbes by John Hall on “Networking Rules You Never Break”.  Would you agree with me that there is no difference between connecting with people through social media or face-to-face?  The same rules must be followed:

  • Give and you shall receive – find ways to help people first (the Law of Reciprocity).
  • No upchucking, telling people how great your business, products, or you are.
  • Be interested rather than interesting – ask questions and listen.
  • Watch your language and your ethics – what you say could end up on Facebook.
  • Always be prepared for a post, email, phone call, or conversation.
  • It’s all about influence – develop relationships with influencers.
  • Keep your word – it is the most important attribute you have.

Another good rule to follow in posting on social media sites is to provide five or six informational or educational posts to every one post about your specific business.  It’s common for people to skip over posts when they think the person is just making another pitch.

There are two things you should provide when you are connecting – curiosity and surprise.  Read the new book “Start SuperNetworking” by Keith Schreiter and Tom “Big Al” Schreiter.  Just like face-to-face rather than introducing yourself as a banker, use the “Do you know how?” approach you learned in previous articles. And always give people a gift (a surprise), something they were unprepared for.  It may be a referral, an article, or a way to network effectively.

Should you get personal?  People do business with people rather than a brand or a company.  They want to know about you, what kind of person you are, what your values are, and what you have in common.  According to a study by CEB Marketing Leadership Council and Google, customers are 20% more likely to purchase when you use a personalized, emotional message.

There is one major difference between social media and face-to-face and that is body language which we know provides a high percentage of connectivity.  So, as soon as possible, consider converting your contacts to watching you on video, on Skype, on Google Hangouts, or get face-to-face.

Would you like to learn the exact process I use in building a relationship through social media?  Then be sure to read the next issue where we will discuss a Social Media Networking Campaign.

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Gail “The Connector” Stolzenburg can be contacted by phone at 281-493-1955, by email at Gail@GailStolzenburg.com, or visit his website at www.GailStolzenburg.com.

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