Marketing through Networking:
How to Network on Social Media
Use Social Media to Make New Contacts and Meet New Leads
Networking is still the best form of marketing, but it isn’t always possible to attend every trade show, networking event or conference to meet new people and potential customers. While you may already use social media to connect with friends and family, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and other social networks are also great sources of business networking. Here are five simple tips on how to network on social media:
1. Update your profiles: Put your best foot forward by ensuring your profiles are complete. Include as much information as possible about your experience, achievements and expertise. Treat your social media profiles like your resume, and make sure all of your information is clear, concise and up to date. Also, remember to use a headshot that clearly shows your face and looks professional.
2. Utilize hashtags: Adding the “#” symbol with a word or phrase relevant to your post is a great way to connect with people talking about similar issues on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest. Search hashtags before posting to find ones that are popular, as this may bring more followers and potential leads. Keep in mind that you must think like your customer. Selling pet treats? Don’t use #makingpettreats, instead try #pettreats. (Perhaps even take things a step further by sharing your value proposition using #organicpettreats or #largedogpettreats).
3. Get to know people through LinkedIn: Designed for networking with business colleagues, LinkedIn is a great way to meet potential clients. Join groups or ask for introductions by second or third-degree relations. Connecting on your own is easy too. After logging into your account, click on “See More” in the “People You May Know” section in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Once there, you do not have to explain how you know someone before inviting them to connect. Remember not to abuse this feature, as it is a great way to make new connections and share your business services or nonprofit’s mission.
4. Follow & Circle People: Make yourself known. On Twitter, look for people who could be potential clients and follow them. They may very well follow back. The same holds true with Google+. Circle people to build your network. Again, don’t abuse the system so select carefully as you follow and circle new people. Take note, Twitter will stop you from following more people once you follow 2,000. You’ll need to build your list of followers to be able to follow more, so make sure to follow wisely and never purchase followers (fake followers are never going to lead to real business).
5. Provide Quality Content: Our most important tip when explaining how to network on social media is simple: provide quality content. While you may find photos of the fabulous dinner you had last night interesting, most of your followers will not care whether you had spaghetti or sushi. Always put yourself in your followers’ (and potential clients’) shoes. Promote your product, service or mission by sharing information that is relevant to your followers and helps make their lives’ easier. Also, keep in mind to mix in content that is informative but isn’t directly selling your product. You want to build trust in your brand and constant sales pitches may turn people away.
As a business executive, small business owner or nonprofit executive, you are always representing your company, so keep in mind that things you say on your personal accounts may be seen by potential clients. Always be polite, respectful and courteous just as you would in any other business dealing. As the golden rule reminds us, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Keep that in mind, keep networking online and off, and keep bringing in new prospects, leads and clients.
Point Taken Communications is a Jacksonville, Fla.-based company specializing in public relations, marketing and web design for corporations, medium-sized businesses, small businesses, firms and nonprofit agencies across the country. We increase the return on your investment by managing your brand and messaging across all channels to ensure clarity and consistency. We are a full-service agency built to help businesses and nonprofits promote their products, services and mission to drive more dollars and donations. At Point Taken, you only work with senior-level professionals with a wealth of marketing, PR and web design knowledge who can maximize your budget, guide your marketing efforts and get the job done right the first time.
Point Taken Communications, a boutique Jacksonville public relations and marketing firm serving brands nationwide, creates engaging campaigns that ignite positive change and move audiences to action. We go above and beyond, ensuring each client gets the best return on its investment. Our team of senior professionals has decades of experience bringing bold, creative ideas to life to help companies and nonprofits grow and evolve. At Point Taken, our clients inspire us to fuel progress for your organization, your industry and our world.