This week’s tip is about building connections on social media organically…just the way you would in real life.
In real life you don’t walk up and down the streets asking everyone you meet to be your friend.
In real life you don’t send out hundreds of emails asking your connections to be your friend.
In real life you don’t expect everyone you meet to be your instant buddy.
So why do we on social media sites think it’s okay to plead with others to “like”our pages,connect with strangers as “friends”then never talk to them,or entice them to connect only to spam them with irrelevant emails?
Build Relationships Not Spam
Social networks are first and foremost for human relationship building. Although many of us are using them for business building,that should be a secondary goal to building real human relationships.
The beautiful thing about social media is if you’re building your connections just to reinvent how to spam people,they can walk away…very easily.
How To Build Friendly Connections
I know you want the magic bullet. Something to make your business explode…today. But if you look at the successful bloggers,Facebook Pages and websites,they built their list over time. As Malcolm Gladwell says
The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea,trend or social behavior crosses a threshold,tips and spreads like wildfire.
What we see as a sudden flash of good fortune came from a lot of smaller steps. The same goes with building your connection list.
One Person At A Time
When Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how he built Wine Library he talks about how he connected with hundreds of people individually everyday. Helping them. Answering their questions. Sharing his knowledge. Being useful to them.
As they listened,took his advice and realized he wasn’t selling them,they became part of his community. Today that community numbers almost 900,000 on Twitter and over 65,000 on Facebook. This doesn’t include followers to his regular online wine tv program,blog and other social sites he’s involved on.
When you visit those sites,Gary is still connecting. Still answering questions. Still engaging one person at a time.
People want to connect with people,not products so don’t sell. If you were walking down the street and starting talking to someone in real life it’s very likely you wouldn’t start out with “Hi,I’m Jen. I’m a coach and trainer. Do you need a coach?”
Instead you would connect on something you have in common,find out about the person and share a little about yourself. Then you’d walk away. If the conversation was good,you’ll connect again,and again,and again.
If you’ve maintained those quality connections –through sharing not selling,they will want to join your page,follow what your doing and read your blog. When the time is right for them to buy your products or services,you’ll be top of mind.
It’s Not About You
Look back at your requests for friends,fans or blog readers. Have you provided good quality information along the way? Have you connected with your lists? Have you commented on their posts/blogs? Or have you been begging your list to “like”you,comment on your blog or share your website?
The difference between sounding desperate and becoming a friend is sharing,giving and sharing again. How are you doing this for your business?
Photo credit:stopnlook via Flickr under creative commons license
Still trying to figure out why you need to be active online? Download the first chapter of The New Main Street for some perspective.