Sunday, August 2, 2009

5 Steps to Social Media Relationship Building

Hello All - In my last post I told you that I am starting to learn about the world of social media. I am in the process of taking a class from called Social Media University. 1st I should say that the class has been amazing and well worth the money but this is not a promo for the class - just an observation. We have had about 6 class so far and have learned a lot about Twitter and Facebook as well as why we should be using social media. I find it amazing how quickly social media has sky rocketed in the last year or two. We are a society in love with immediate gratification and social connection and social media gives us both. But what I have learned in the past couple of weeks is that the most important aspect of Social Media is building a personal relationships.

A relationship is defined as a connection between two people or objects - the dealings and feelings that exist between those two people. So how do you build a relationship with total strangers in cyberspace? People need to first know you, then they can like you and only then they will trust you. Building that trust is the key to success in social media. So again how do you build that relationship?

  1. Put yourself out there! Are you making yourself available to meet people? What does your bio say about you? It is important that your bio be interesting and intriguing so as to create the desire for someone to take the time to find out more about you. Are you smiling in your profile picture? Yes you MUST have a profile picture.

  2. Reach out to others! Are you following people on Twitter or are you a friend or fan on Facebook? You must extend the first hand, get out of your comfort zone and make the first move. You will actually find some interesting and exciting people out there. Do not go crazy and add hundreds of people at one time because that could actually get you banned from some sites instead you should have a plan. How many people do you want to add each week? How many would that be each day? What you will find is that a lot of those people will start to follow you as well.

  3. Share information about yourself and your passions! On a daily basis you should post something that you find to be relevant to your life. That may be an inspirational quote, a comment on something newsworthy or it may just be a statement about your day but it should be something that lets people get a feel for who you are. You can do this multiple times a day but note there is such a thing as too much.

  4. Interact with people! There are multiple ways you can interact with people. On Twitter you could re-tweet something someone said that you found interesting, direct message or @reply people to ask them questions or make a statement about something they said. On Facebook you could comment on something they posted or write on their wall. The important thing is that you took the time to engage them in conversation, although it may be a short conversation.

  5. Help people - don't spam them! Take the time to provide them with information that is relevant and important in their lives. For example, if you read a great article about personal growth you could share that link so that your followers could read it. If you have experience in a certain area provide people with tips that can improve that area of their life. Do not continuously send them information and links promoting your products or services. A great rule of thumb is 10 non-sales contacts for each sales contact according to Social Media expert Nancy Marmolejo.

At this point you will have given them the opportunity to know you, by providing them information about you, then like you, by providing them with valuable and helpful information for their life, and then and only then will they trust you. Now you have to focus on keeping their trust! It is not as hard as it seems. Be genuine, kind and helpful and you will be amazed how many people will want to trust you.

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