Connection timed out after 2000 milliseconds Leverage Your Networking Skills with Social Media

Leverage Your Networking Skills with Social Media

by Sue Schnorr on February 19, 2010

People often ask me how to use LinkedIn, here Twitter or Facebook when networking.
It’s easy! You simply need to leverage your face-to-face networking skills and use them in the social media arena.

How? I’m glad you asked. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Listen carefully to your connections/followers/fans.

Give first; offer ideas that will help them:
- Answer Questions on LinkedIn to bolster your industry credibility
- Use RTs on Twitter to ‘give PR’ to other follower’s tweets
- Comment or click LIKE on Facebook postings to build  relationships.

Your network is created by the conversations you have in person and online. Nurture and cultivate the relationships you have with those individuals. Every interaction is an opportunity. When you connect with someone, stomach look for commonalities.

- Talk to strangers.
- Send direct messages to thank people for following you on Twitter.
- Acknowledge and reply to status updates on LinkedIn.
- Comment on pictures, videos and posts on Facebook.

Networking isn’t TAKING, it’s an exchange of information. It’s LEARNING about your contacts and TEACHING them what you’re good at and what kinds of opportunities you are interested in. Go slow and steady as you build relationships online. Let people get to know you and give them a chance to see your character and competence before going for the SELL and pitching your product!

Network strategically. What bottom-line results are you looking for? Create a plan to get there. Determine which audience makes most sense to follow/develop relationships with and then connect/friend/become fans of those people. Get to know them, help them, and build relationships with those audiences.

Be honest and upfront. When there are no mysteries, and everyone is ‘above board’, there is no manipulation. While it’s important to GIVE; don’t be afraid to point people to your blog or site.  Highlight actions and results into your success stories and weave them into your posts and articles. Let people get to know you and see your abilities and accomplishments.

Share your ideas and resources – think of contributions you can make that your audience will appreciate; that will let them know what you, or your clients (or your clients’ products) can do to solve their problems. Continued interaction increases your network’s net worth. Keep in touch and end conversations assuming that you will stay in touch and develop the relationship. It takes time (MONTHS) to develop a relationship with someone, so start now.

If you’re not networking, you’re not working to your fullest. Networking is not just for job hunters, it’s a necessary competency in today’s world to help you do your job better and be more productive. Use your blog, website, LinkedIn status and tweets to create a well-balanced combination of sharing information and calls to action. In time, as you nurture your contacts, you will be surprised at how you are able to capitalize on them as well. When you have sincere, mutually beneficial relationships, business is sure to follow. 


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