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.
Are you wondering how to get others to say great things about your brand or product?
To discover the common mistakes social media marketers make and how to fix them, I interview Scott Stratten for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.
It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).
Scott shares how marketers can improve social media by engaging their audiences.
You’ll discover how to use social media marketing effectively, and how brands can get talked about in a positive way.
Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!
Are you ready to take the plunge and use content to connect with your audience on social media?
If you shift your thinking and perception about what makes your brand successful, you can tease out great content that will undoubtedly catch the attention of potential customers.
In this article, I’ll show you how to start building an engaging presence on social media in four easy steps.
#1: Build a Targeted Community
The first step is to build a community of people who care about what your brand has to offer.
It doesn’t matter if you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ page or all of the above. As long as you have a starting point, you can start building your audience on social media.
Haphazardly trying to build a large community won’t be very helpful. Your best bet will be to build a targeted community. How do you build targeted communities? Generally speaking, there are two ways.
To build a community through organic means, you must provide share-worthy and useful content that’s relevant specifically to the audience you want to reach. The more your content (on any social network) gets shared, the more eyes see it.
Have you considered adding games to your Facebook page?
Facebook games engage people’s competitive nature and can grow your brand’s reach.
This article shows you how to use games in your Facebook marketing.
#1: Fan Photo of the Week
If you want to get people interested in your fan page, make your fans a part of your social marketing strategy. People love to see their names in lights, so give them that chance with a Facebook photo of the week contest.
The great thing about this type of contest is that it’s easy to implement. Just ask your fans to submit a picture based on a theme you choose, then judge the photos and select a winner. When you’ve chosen a winner, showcase the fan and his or her picture on your cover image or highlight the photo in a status update.
The winner gets bragging rights and will probably want to share the excitement with friends. When the winner shares with his or her friends, your page goes out into their news feed and introduces you to a new audience. That can lead to a jump in viral reach.
Walmart is particularly good at this. They ask fans to submit a photo via a tab on their Facebook page, which means fans have to go to the Walmart Facebook page and engage by clicking through to the app.
Lacking insight into the social behaviors of your customers?
No data, no problem!
Chances are your competitors have done all the hard work and all you need to do is look for it.
In this post, I’ll show you how to research the competition’s social game plan so you can build a solid social media strategy of your own.
Finding the Fundamentals
When it comes to social media marketing, you need to answer a few fundamental questions:
- Should your business be on social media?
- What networks should you choose?
- How do you create a great profile?
- What type of content should you post, and when should you post it?
Everyone must answer these questions, including business owners who want to create a strategy for their own business, marketing managers who need to convince their CEO to invest in social media and consultants who create strategies for clients in a wide variety of industries.
Fortunately, you can find answers through the process of competitor research.
Keep reading to discover how to get insight on your competitors.
#1: Comparing Audience Size
While you shouldn’t obsess about how many fans or followers your competitors have, noting these numbers at the beginning of your campaign can help you answer the following important questions.
Do you need a guide to ensure that you don’t miss the crucial elements of a successful sweepstakes promotion?
Sweepstakes, contests and giveaways are increasingly popular among marketers who are vying for the attention of their social media audiences. Choosing a prize is the easy part.
Whether you run your promotion on Facebook or Pinterest, it’s easy to overlook something. Making sure you’ve got all your planning, technical and legal “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed is critical to your success.
In this article, you’ll learn the five steps of running a successful social media sweepstakes.
#1: Assess Sweepstakes Objectives
This is where most companies shortchange themselves. How? By focusing on superficial objectives that may not benefit their business.
Owner Jeff Matt started Victory Auto Service and Glass in 1997 with one shop in the suburbs of Minneapolis.
He always made an effort to develop personal relationships with his customers who trusted him with their cars.
The business grew to three locations by 2010, and Matt found it harder to maintain the small-shop feel. “When you have multiple stores and multiple managers, you can’t be everything to everybody,” he said.
Three years ago, he approached Stephanie Gutierrez, a long-time customer, about helping the business get started in social media.
By experimenting with different approaches, they hit upon a winning formula that promotes the personal connections Matt has always valued.
Are you wondering how to increase engagement with your Google+ community?
Google+ is designed to focus on one thing and one thing only: engagement.
So, how can you pump up your Google+ engagement?
In this post, you’ll discover six ways to use Google+ posts to stimulate activity.
#1: Make Your Text Stand Out
You’ll first want to help your content stand out by differentiating the formatting. Instead of publishing a boring block of text, add a little formatting variety to your next Google+ post.
Unlike Facebook, it’s generally acceptable to have longer posts on Google+. If you publish a long post, remember that dense text can be a turnoff for readers. Use appropriate line spacing and paragraph breaks to make it easy for readers to scan your content.
The San Francisco Giants have the most engaged fan base in Major League Baseball.
They’re recognized as social media standouts in the sports world.
But as recently as three years ago, they had no cohesive voice on social media and no social media strategy.
The Giants were a traditional organization in a traditional sport. In 2010, when they brought in Bryan Srabian as social media director, they were getting information to fans by broadcasting. Typically this meant holding press conferences and sending out press releases or email blasts.
But then Srabian had an “Aha!” moment. He was reading a book by Chris Brogan and then had a conversation with him on Twitter. “We don’t really talk to our fans at all,” he thought. But they could.
It was time for a new model based on listening and responding. But first they had to find out what fans were saying, and where they were getting their information.