May 4, 2011

6 Tips on Building Your Social Network Faster

Photo cred: Nazly Ahmed

The one thing we all want when using social media is to have interactions. Whether it's your friends, co-workers or clients, the fastest way of reaching out to those you're interested in, is thru channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. Starting to use one or more social networks comes with an "issue" for a lot of users: How do I build up my network of connections faster ?

Regardless if you're a business or just a private user, your presence on the web is a must. Further more, your account(s) and the way you manage them become your social media visiting card. It's nice to know that your message reaches more than just your close friends, thus increasing your online visibility or that someone quoted your idea, thus building up your social reputation.

Here are some great tips on how to grow your network of connections:

1. Join the right networks
This might seem silly, but if you're looking to connect with professionals in your area of expertise, then LinkedIn is definitely a better choice than Facebook for example.

2. Join groups relevant to you
I know, this is at least as silly as the first one, but think about it for a second. What's the point of using social media if you're not interacting. The best way of doing it is joining groups and getting involved in discussions that interest you.

3. Be interesting
Believe it or not, but posting relevant and credible information is a HUGE incentive for someone to follow your tweets or add you to their professional network connections. You don't know when a new opportunity arises through one of your social connections. In using social media frequently you do become a brand which can be a personal or a company brand. In both cases people will "label" you as being someone worth spending their time following or just someone that doesn't have much to say.

4. Make/add one new connection every day
The first thing you need to be aware of is that you don't want to be a spammer. All social networks have harsh rules regarding spammers. Also, don't get used to sending the default invitation request message. On LinkedIn for example, this is "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn".

I believe it would look better and really become a personal invitation, if you would use something like this: "Hi Chris, I've seen you're also a member of XYZ group and I'd love to add you to my personal network of professionals. Or, I see that John is a common connection for us. I've met with him 3 years ago and I think he's a great guy to work with."

5. Socialize
Leave comments on other people blogs/websites, retweet tweets or just post an interesting article from your connections on the Facebook wall. These are the milk and honey of social media. Wishing them Happy Birthday is another simple and frequently skipped practice of interaction.

Think about it for a second, everyone appreciates people who remember their important milestones. Whether you post it on their Facebook wall, email a birthday card or just give them a call, this will help you to get noticed.

6. Build up your online visibility by going offline
A great way of engaging and growing you network of connections is attending to different events or conferences in your area of interest. There are the so called blogmeets or tweetmeets that are frequently organized.

I'm sure there are a lot more useful tips that could be added to the list. What is it that you believe could be used in building and growing your social network ?


About The Author:

My name is Cristian Anechitei but you’ll inevitably just call me Chris.

I work as a Senior Marketing Specialist for a B2B marketing consultancy company called NNC Services where I get to do what I like the most: help businesses grow, meet new people that are working on some interesting new projects and learn lots of stuff every day. I enjoy playing video games, watching good movies and creating new business ideas. I like to think of myself as being a problem solver, solution finder and overall positive attitude individual.

If you have an idea that you'd like to share or just want to say 'hello', feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.


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