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.
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.
Suffice it to say, you’re not alone.
There are more than a million apps available and according to Sunil Gupta,”Users spend on average, 82% of their mobile minutes with apps and just 18% with web browsers.”
In this article, you’ll find apps to consider using to help you with your business and social activities.
Due to the enormous number of apps to choose from, I focused on apps that are convenient and provide social value.
Note: For consistency, all screenshots were taken from iTunes app store. I also looked for apps available on both iPhone and Android—and if not identical products on both platforms, another one with similar functionality would be available (see #3 for example).
According to a Harvard Business Review blog post entitled, “Three New Networks for the Digital Age,” just having an online network isn’t enough.
In this post, I’ll explore steps you can take to turn those online contacts to offline business relationships. I’ll use the thought of heading to a large event or conference as the stake in the ground so you have a “when and where” for connecting with some of your online contacts.
Here are 8 things you can do to turn social media contacts into offline business relationships.
#1: Get Clear on Your Goals
Start out by using a tool like Evernote to capture some of your thoughts.
Capture what you’re currently working on, your current goals, the people you think can help you move your goals forward and what you’re currently looking to learn. (You may or may not actually have a name for your direction, but a title will do—think of creating a networking persona.)
If so, look no further.
In Nielsen and McKinsey’s Social Media Report, consumers were surveyed to discover how they use social networks.
Here are seven key findings from that report.
#1: More Time Invested in Mobile
The survey found that consumers are increasingly looking to their smartphones and tablets to access social media.
While the PC is still the most widely used device when it comes to social media consumption, the study found that time spent on mobile apps and mobile websites accounted for a 63% increase (compared to 2011) in total time spent.
Additionally, 43% of users said they use smartphones to access social media, while 16% connect using a tablet.
Are you looking for an easy way to identify and connect with industry thought leaders?
If so, keep reading for a simple system you can immediately deploy.
Why Focus on Influencers?
Social media is a great way to develop strategic partnerships with key influencers and stay informed about what’s happening in your industry.
But you must focus your efforts to ensure that time spent in social media packs a punch.
A study from Forrester Research confirms that 13.4% of U.S. adults online create 80% of the content that influences people. And 6.2% of these web users are responsible for 80% of the influence in social media.
Want to know why this is wise and how to do it? Keep reading…
Going Beyond the Customer
Many marketers have a relentless focus on a single dimension of social interaction: the brand-consumer relationship.
Thinking that the “social” in social media marketing is all about your relationship with consumers is constraining.
Rethinking the role of other relationships can dramatically improve the effectiveness of those very marketing efforts designed to engage your target customers.
While social channels facilitate new ways of tapping into “partners” and as the line between personal and professional relationships has blurred, it is important to view business relations in a new—and yes, more social—light.
Recently I interviewed my very good friend Mari Smith, the “Queen of Facebook.” She’s coauthored the most popular book on Facebook called Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day and has an exciting new book on relationship marketing.
She now has a brand-new hot book out called, The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, and Profitable Network Using the Social Web.
Catch the full interview (audio) at the end of this article.
Mike: Your new book is called The New Relationship Marketing, and I want to key in on the word “new.” What’s new about relationship marketing?
Mari: Well, first of all, the phrase relationship marketing was coined way back in the ’80s by a professor, and I have for 10 years—long before Facebook was even on the map—called myself a “relationship marketing specialist.” And I love that term because to me it transcends the medium. It’s all about people doing business with people.
According to a recent study by Flurry, consumers spent 81 minutes per day using mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes of web surfing. Here’s where it gets even more interesting. Social networking is one of two categories that dominate mobile app usage with 32% and games are responsible for 47%.
In Search of Apps
As a social media marketer, you’ll likely want to find apps that will help you keep up with social networking and stay productive while on the go. Many of us hear about apps from friends and colleagues, from articles we read, from searching around on Apple’s App Store to see what’s new and through dedicated search engines such as Chomp.