Social media is a powerful business tool and utilizing it to build and expand your network is something to be considered. Whether for your business, or your personal brand, it is key to implement social media into your networking plan with intent and value. Today, we want to offer some ways in which you can leverage your social media presence to help further your networking and build lasting relationships.
“The average person spends about 145 minutes on social media every day.”–Forbes
Choose the right platform
There are many social media platforms to choose from, and with 4.9 billion people using social media across the world, connecting with others has never been easier. However, in terms of professional networking, you likely want to consider utilizing LinkedIn as your main way to connect and build relationships. Geared to professionals, LinkedIn encourages, and allows a welcoming space, for like-minded people to network. You are easily able to send messages to people in similar industries, to other BNI members, and to people from around the globe.
Build a strong profile
If you decide to use LinkedIn for networking, you want to ensure that your profile is complete and up to date. This should include a recent photograph of yourself, updated business information, and contact information should people want to reach out to you. You also want to be clear about your business, what value you offer, and include your skills and expertise.
Engage with content
It is important to post relevant and valuable content on your profile, but it is also key to engage with others. Whether you comment on a connection’s post, share content from others that you think your followers will find engaging, or celebrating milestones and successes, you will be able to build stronger relationships by showing a vested interest in what others share on social media.
Remember to be intentional about what you share and engage with online. You should always be professional, open-minded, respectful, and kind in all your interactions. You are representing your business, so make sure it is positive one.
If you come across someone you would like to connect with, be sure to send them a personalized message when you ask to connect. Find out some information about them and include why you would appreciate the opportunity to get to know them more. Whether it be working in a similar or complimentary industry, sharing a mutual connection, or you have an interest in their profession, the more personal you are in your message, the more likely you are to connect.
Consistency is key
Once you decide on which social media platforms are best to network on, consistency is key! To truly build relationships with people online, you want to ensure you update your profile as needed, engage with content regularly, and stay in touch with your connections.
If you live in the same city, meet in person to develop your relationship further. If you are connecting with other BNI members, remember to schedule a one to one with them, and look for networking events where you can turn online connections into real life ones.
The power of social media is strong! In using social media to support your networking efforts, you will strengthen professional relationships and create more opportunities for referrals and business growth.
We would love to connect with all our BNI members, so make sure you are following us on LinkedIn. We hope to see you there!