Powerful Ways to Connect Via Social Media

by Jeannie Walters

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A few weeks ago I posted this over at 12 Most. After a few interesting conversations regarding how social media has “no ROI” I decided it was time to post it here, too!

12 Most Powerful Ways to Connect Via Social MediaWhen I share how I found one of my favorite clients, mouths drop open like it’s some sort of magic trick. We found each other through Twitter. This could work for you, whether you’re in professional services like me or a concrete salesman or anything in between.

It’s not just Twitter than can lead to new business, however, it’s all the ways we connect via social media. I use specific tactics to ensure I am finding the right people and they are able to find me.

Here is my list of the 12 Most Powerful Ways to Connect Via Social Media:

1. Ensure your social media profiles are updated regularly

LinkedIn, Facebook and your blog all have the potential to be found via social media. If your profile is lacking your current job title or fresh content often, you become that much harder to find. Make it a point to review your profiles where you live on social media and update them to reflect the best first impression you can make!

2. Join the right groups and chats for your industry

Just like regular networking, you need to build trust within your community. A great way to do that is participating in conversations where your potential clients might be hanging out. Do a search on LinkedIn or Facebook for groups to join and participate in Twitter chats whenever you can. Important note – be authentic, be generous and DON’T get sales-y here. The point is to build trust, not sell the car that day.

3. Blog like you mean it

I understand why it’s easy to push this priority to the bottom of the list. However, blogging helps people understand your viewpoint and passion before picking up the phone. It still amazes me when I meet someone in real life for the first time and he or she mentions regularly reading my blog.

4. Comment where it counts

A tried and true connection tactic is to leave comments on other blogs. At some of the most popular blogs, however, your comment gets lost in a sea of sycophants. Find one or two places to comment where it could lead to connections you want to make, or where you can take a stand. Just please, be nice.

5. Search on Twitter

I have a few searches set up on Twitter perpetually. They are the keywords that matter to me – “customer experience” as a phrase, along with other customer-centric words. You can do this with a number of tools, including Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, and if you pay attention you’ll see potential clients asking for help on your very area of expertise. Respond, be generous, and build the relationship.

6. Like your clients’ competition

Understand how others are using social media. Liking a page on Facebook is low-commitment but offers you an inside look at what others are doing. Use this information to connect and comment.

7. Questions, questions, questions!

There are lots of places where professionals are seeking information by asking a question and waiting for those of us in cyberspace to respond. FocusQuora andLinkedIn Answers are just a few places where you can showcase your expertise when someone is really seeking it!

8. Alert yourself

GoogleYahoo and other search engines offer the alert service. Type in a few keywords to track (or company names) and make sure you don’t miss an important update. There are loads of things to track – keywords, clients, potential clients, employees, etc. Have fun creating what matters to you.

9. Check in to find people you want to meet

I admittedly am not too consistent about checking in on location-based social sites likeFoursquare and Gowalla. I become a check-in freak, however, when I’m at an industry event or large conference. Why? Because by checking in and tracking who is where, I can strategically meet people as well as connect in real life with friends I may only be connected to virtually. It’s powerful. And now that location-based marketing is growing, check ins can also lead to some nice discounts or freebies. Bonus!

10. Make it a point to connect virtually after meeting IRL

It’s easy to meet in person and assume you’ll see each other soon enough. Don’t make that mistake. Follow up quickly, connect on LinkedIn, follow the Twitter account, and generally show an interest in your new connection’s virtual pursuits. This is the modern day equivalent to a box of chocolates.

11. Make the time

We all get busy. Deadlines, bosses, clients all have demands we can’t ignore. So use the tools available now to keep up quickly and stay connected.

12. Share and keep sharing

Social media allows us to connect with others in accessible ways. Don’t become the bad apple who thinks sharing valuable content is giving away the store. We all want to gain value from where we spend our time. If you are just selling away without providing value, people will stay away.

I believe in social media, because it’s worked for me and my business. Using it in ways that help you connect with the right people and organizations can literally help you gain more and spend less. It does take effort and some smarts, but if you take the right approach it will serve you very well. Hope to see you in the community! Please let me know if you have other ideas for ways to connect. I know this is the tip of the iceberg…there could probably be a “100 Most” post. Let me know what works for you!

Featured image courtesy of blackbutterfly licensed via creative commons.

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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