4 Ways to Maximize Your Network With Social Media

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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31 Must-Read Social Media Marketing Articles

social media reviewsAre you looking for rich and insightful blog posts to boost your social media marketing?

We asked our writers to share their favorite social media blog posts.

What follows is a gold mine of content you can apply to your marketing in 2014.

#1: Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing

andy-crestodina

Andy Crestodina

I love this post by Barry Feldman because it emphasizes content promotion (which is all-important) and includes a comprehensive list of specific actions.

It’s a great overview for beginners. But the pros may also find a few tactics they aren’t using.

enlarge-your-digital-footprint

Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing.

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How to Get Employees to Embrace Social Media

social media how toAre you struggling to get your social media activities off the ground?

Do you want to get more people inside your organization to support your social media activities?

If so, you’re not alone. Small businesses to Fortune 500 companies find themselves facing these challenges.

In this article, I’ll show you how to create an internal social media structure that will help you develop an effective long-term social media presence.

#1: Define the End Goal

First, identify how and why social media will be used to meet specific business and brand goals.

For example, a business goal is to increase revenue by 10%, whereas a brand goal is to create deeper relationships with your existing clients.

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Win Free Tickets to Social Media Success Summit 2013

***UPDATE*** Congrats to our winners: Andie Shaw (blog post winner) and Melyum (Twitter winner).

Want to win a free ticket to the largest online social media marketing event of the year?

Social Media Examiner has worked hard to bring you our fifth-annual Social Media Success Summit. This is our biggest event ever!

And we’ve come up with a fun way to get you involved.

First, what is this event?

Social Media Success Summit 2013 is a large online conference dedicated to helping marketers and business owners master social media marketing.

More than 1900 businesses have already signed up! Hundreds of small businesses and well-known brands such as Wells Fargo, Motorola, AT&T, 3M, World Vision, United Way, US Chamber of Commerce, Dell, Dow Jones, Penn State, US Air Force and PBS will be attending this year’s summit.

Forty-five of the world’s most respected social media experts will share their strategies with you.

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3 Strategies for Finding Customers With Social Media

social media how toDo you need a strategy to reach your ideal prospects with social media?

Are you overwhelmed by all the social media options?

If so, you’re not alone. Social media overwhelm is one of the biggest challenges businesses face.

In this article, I’m going to show you three social media strategies so you can focus your efforts on the channels that best align with your business objective and target audience.

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9 Reasons to Attend Social Media Success Summit 2013

social media reviewsCould your social media marketing efforts use a boost?

Are you looking to improve your professional development when it comes to social media?

Do you feel overwhelmed by endless social media platform changes?

If so, Social Media Examiner has just the event for you.

The Social World is Changing

One of the biggest challenges marketers face these days is keeping up with the dizzying rate of change in social media marketing.

This year alone, Facebook has introduced Graph Search, Hashtags, Power Editor and recently, new Facebook Insights.

YouTube is another example. In March 2013, they significantly changed the layout for brand channels, forcing marketers to go back to the drawing board and rethink their strategies.

It can be unsettling trying to keep up with all of these changes, not to mention how much time it takes to learn and make the necessary adjustments.

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4 Ways to Use Social Media to Generate Leads

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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6 Ways to Use Facebook Apps for Business

social media toolsDoes your business leverage the power of Facebook apps?

Wondering how other businesses are using apps to better serve their customers?

Keep reading to discover many ways businesses are using Facebook apps.

Why Facebook Apps?

There are many reasons why you may want to consider using Facebook apps. They can provide communication between your customers and your customer service team, allow people to sign up for and receive your newsletter or provide your customers with special rewards.

Each of these uses can help you create a deeper relationship with your customers and foster brand loyalty. If you use a fangate to conceal the content on strategic app tabs from non-fans, you can also increase the number of likes your Page is getting.

In this article, we’ll explore 6 ways to successfully use Facebook apps to build the reputation of your brand and reach your customer service goals.

#1: Keep Customers in the Know

Email remains a very popular marketing tool and sending interested users email updates in the form of a newsletter keeps them in the know about your business.

Use a newsletter signup app to collect email addresses so you have an additional way to communicate with your customers when they leave Facebook. You can even ask people to like your Page to reveal the newsletter signup form.

Publish status updates to tease newsletter content and then direct your fans to the app where they can sign up to receive the full newsletter.

The popular yoga and music festival, Wanderlust, has events all over North America, all year long. Wanderlust uses a newsletter signup app as a way to stay connected with fans and tell them what’s happening where and when.

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How to Setup a Social Media Business Strategy

social media how toDoes your business have a social media strategy?

According to research conducted by Constant Contact, over 50% of small businesses need help with social media.

While many businesses have a social media presence, many are not engaging on those platforms and thus not meeting their goals.

With planning, your small business can use social media effectively.

Here are seven steps to a social media strategy for your business.

#1: Determine Your Business Objectives for Social Media

How do you want to use social media to help your business? What goals do you want to achieve?

Make your goals as concrete, measurable and achievable as possible. For example, if you currently get five new leads a month, setting a goal to get 100 new leads in the next 12 months is more realistic than setting a goal to get 5,000 new leads.

goals

Define clear goals for your social media marketing. Image source: iStockPhoto.

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