social media how to Do you want to quickly find and meet contacts related to your industry?

Are you looking for ways to establish a long-term relationship with those connections?

It can be tough to make first contact without coming on too strong.

But if you engage with someone before you pitch and let them get to know you a little bit, you have a better chance of creating a solid relationship.

In this article I’ll show you four ways you can use social media to meet market influencers and expand your network.

Why Social Networking?

Even if you live in the middle of nowhere (like me) you can build a network of influential colleagues. How great is it that we live in a time where you can meet anyone from anywhere without leaving the comfort of your office?

The usual networking methods still apply, of course: attending conferences, joining or starting mastermind groups and meeting friends of friends.

But social media opens a larger sphere of opportunity.

Below I show you how Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn—and a combination thereof—ensure your first interaction with a potential connection is a lasting one.

#1: Leverage Your Facebook Connections

Given that half a billion people use Facebook, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to find networking opportunities there.

To start your search, use Facebook’s graph search to find potential friends by using the People I May Know option. This works best if you already have business contacts on Facebook.

facebook open graph

Search for influencers in your market with Facebook’s Open Graph.

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social media how toAre you looking to improve your online networking?

Have you thought about becoming more active in LinkedIn groups?

The connections you make in a LinkedIn group not only expand your network, they enhance your authority and bring in new leads.

In this article I’ll show you how to get the most out of your LinkedIn marketing tactics by being an active member of discussion groups.

Why LinkedIn Groups?

With 160 million monthly active users, LinkedIn falls below competing social networks such as Twitter (241 million), and well below Facebook (over 1 billion). But neither of these social networks can touch LinkedIn when it comes to professional networking and B2B marketing.

linkedin group listing

There are thousands of LinkedIn Groups for you to consider.

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social media how toDo you want to learn how to present yourself and your business on LinkedIn?

Are you looking for a resource to guide your LinkedIn marketing efforts?

Whether you’re using LinkedIn as an individual or as a brand, here you’ll find expert articles to help you develop a LinkedIn marketing plan and find prospects and leads.

Each of these articles will help you understand and master a specific part of the LinkedIn networking platform.

Create a Presence for Yourself

How to Make Sure Your LinkedIn Account is Secure: It’s important to be conscious of your privacy and security when using LinkedIn. Discover what you need to know to manage your security on LinkedIn.

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social media how toAre you trying to find quality leads for your business on LinkedIn?

Are you rising above the noise with quality engagement?

Using your LinkedIn profile to connect with market influencers and potential clients is smart–when done right.

In this article, you’ll discover a five-step process for building the solid relationships you need to generate a steady flow of leads from LinkedIn.

linkedin istock image

LinkedIn is a great marketing tool if you create relationships based on trust. Image source: iStockPhoto.com.

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social media how to Is your business or company struggling to find new customers?

Do you know how to build your business network on social media?

Before you can sell, you have to create a trusted relationship with your future customer.

In this article, you’ll discover four ways to use social media to find and establish relationships with new prospects and leads for your business.

#1: Join a Conversation on Twitter

Tweet chats are great for person-to-person networking on Twitter and they can act as one of the single best lead generation tools in social media.

You can consult a number of lists to quickly locate chats that are relevant to you. These lists include hashtags and other key information like date, time and the name of the host or owner of the chat.

tweets from #blogchat

A tweet chat example.

The best thing about tweet chats is that while almost everyone starts out a stranger, over time the participants begin to know one another and develop relationships that extend beyond the regularly scheduled chat.

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social media how toAre you happy with how you are using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn offers companies multiple marketing opportunities, but which ones are right for your business?

In this article I’ll show you five different ways to use LinkedIn to market your business.

How do you do start?

You’ll want to develop a comprehensive and consistent LinkedIn marketing plan for your business to achieve long-term, sustainable success.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a large corporate brand or a small business, you can build a comprehensive LinkedIn marketing strategy on a scale that suits your needs and objectives.

social media examiner business page

Social Media Examiner strategy on LinkedIn includes updating the business page regularly.

In order to have success with LinkedIn, you’ll need to make a long-term commitment to your plan. A strategy that delivers results requires ongoing management, monitoring, analysis, and adjustments.

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social media how toAre you part of a LinkedIn group that has stalled?

Do you want to create a LinkedIn group?

LinkedIn groups can be a great way to network with your customers, peers and other professionals in your industry.

But it can be challenging to grow your group and get the people you want to join and participate in the discussions.

We asked the pros to share their best tips to grow your LinkedIn groups.

Follow these tips and you’ll find it easier to create the type of community you’re looking for.

#1: Use Email to Send Invitations That Convert

viveka von rosen

Viveka Von Rosen

You’ll need to send out invitations to get your contacts to join your LinkedIn group and LinkedIn has a form for you to do this.

The default LinkedIn message that’s sent when you fill out the form below is: “Subject: Name invites you to join Group” and “Welcome Message: I would like to invite you to join my group on LinkedIn.” Unfortunately this has about 1% chance of getting someone to your group.

linkedin tweetchat participants

Standard LinkedIn group invitations can be boring. (Note the link field at the bottom gives you the link to your group. Copy this and create a custom URL for your group to use in your email invitations.)

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social media how to

Is networking a big part of your job or business?

Have you participated in or considered starting a discussion group?

The good news is LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ all offer options.

In this post, we’re going to look at how social media groups work for businesses and how you can benefit from them as both an owner and a participant.

#1: Google+ Communities

Let’s start with the newest kid on the block for social media groups: Google+ communities. When Google+ launched communities in December 2012, they grew at lightning speed. You can now find thousands of communities that cover every topic.

Benefits as a Member

One of the nice parts about Google+ communities is that you can participate in them using your personal profile or your business page—an option you won’t find on any other social network. This means that you can build your business’s authority on a particular topic within communities.

page activities in communities

Google+ page participating in a Google+ community.

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social media how toDo you use social media to generate inbound leads for your business?

Are you unsure about where and how to focus your efforts to meet your lead generation goals?

According to HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Annual Report, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail or PPC.

If you’re starting a lead generation campaign, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are all excellent places to begin, but knowing how to pull leads from the conversations that happen on these platforms takes some knowledge and practice.

In this article, I’ll share 4 ways you can use social media to generate inbound marketing leads for your business.

#1: Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are frequently scheduled discussions hosted by a Twitter account. Each chat uses a particular hashtag so that other Twitter users can follow the conversation even though topics change with each discussion.

Because of the focused audience communities that participate in Twitter chats, they are a great place to generate leads for your business.

small biz chat

The #SmallBizChat is an example of a Twitter chat that successfully engages its community every week.

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