Entries Tagged 'Featured' ↓

how to make a personal connection on social networking sites

Harry Potter wants you to join him in helping raise $700 billion so the U.S. banks can remain open
Creative Commons License photo credit: kevindooley

Trying to build “real” relationships and connections with people you “meet” online can appear quite challenging at times. You want to connect with others - perhaps, that potential JV partner or a mentor who you’ve been following for quite some time. But, how do you go about doing it? How do you stand out from the others who are trying to do the same thing as you? Obviously, you don’t want to appear needy, pushy, lame, or spammy in your “relationship marketing” efforts. That said, what should one do?

First, let me say this: social networking is nothing more than an online representation of our offline worlds. A lot the things you would do offline to break the ice and network are the same activities we should be doing online as well. That said, here are 5 tips and ideas that will help you get the ball rolling.

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3 Tips to Stop Social Networking from Taking Over your Life

busy schedule?
Creative Commons License photo credit: flik

If you’re reading this blog post, there’s a good chance that you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or any of the other scores of social networking sites out there. And the fact remains that a lot of them are down right addicting.

If you’re a high school kid or someone with a lot of free time, it really doesn’t matter if those sites become your new crack.

However, for those of us - business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, corporate professionals, etc. - who use those social technologies for business, spending countless hours in front of the computer might not be the most effective use of time.

But what do you do if you’re connected to a lot of people who choose to communicate with you using these social networking sites? Surely, you wouldn’t want to ignore them.

Doing so would mean abandoning chances to build meaningful relationships and profitable business ventures.

That’s clearly not an option. So, what do we do?

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The 5 Things Every Business Owner Should Be Doing On The New Facebook

Changed Priorities Ahead sign
Creative Commons License photo credit: ➨ Redvers

Well, it finally happened. Facebook has made the new profile layout changes permanent.

For weeks now, I’ve been saying that we (entrepreneurs, business owners, etc.), who use Facebook for personal AND business reasons should have been using the new layout from jump street.

Now, we don’t have the option to use the old profile design. And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the changes have been dramatic.

Facebook has made things more streamlined and uniformed. In an effort to clear out the crap and clutter, they’ve also made it harder to differentiate your profile from the millions of others out there. You’ll soon find that most of the applications you were once so fond of using have now been relegated to a lonely tab known as “boxes.”

This is where our apps now go to die. But Facebook has being flooded with a ton of crap apps anyway… so this new application graveyard might not be such a bad idea after all.

So, what do all these changes mean to you — the business owner, the solopreneur, the young executive who has been using the site to connect with leaders and clients? In short, it means that it will be harder for you to attract the attention and eyeballs of those you wish to network and do business with.

That is, if you continue to do things the same way.

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Are you connecting with your fans, friends, and followers?

Creative Commons License photo credit: 416style

Social media marketing, at its core, is about developing relationships. I’d even go a little further and say it’s about developing the kind of relationships that produce both tangible and intangible profits… Money and irreplaceable friendships. Cold hard cash as well indispensable contacts and connections.

It’s no mistake that the word “social” comes before “media marketing.” However, far too many times, more importance seems to be given to the latter portion of the phrase instead. In the spirit of full disclosure I, too, had to resist the urge to do so.

When, I stumbled into this niche/industry, I was absolutely fascinated by the idea that I could profit financially from something I thoroughly enjoyed doing: connecting with people using social media tools (Facebook, in particular).

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing nefarious about wanting to make monetary gains by doing something you love. In fact, being able to do just that is one of life’s greatest joys. That said, the problem wasn’t in my desire to profit by doing what I love. The error was in my priorities — not the financial opportunity.

I was looking at social media marketing as a vehicle I could use to make money FIRST. As a result, helping others and their businesses to do the same (make money) fell to second place. The two desire should have been reversed.

In social media marketing, the desire to assist your connections, to add value to their lives and businesses, should be the principle motivating force behind our actions.

Many times, we can forget that social media is, for the most part, nothing but a reflection of our offline realities. That fact tends to get lost behind the digital clutter of the Internet where the line between online and offline behavior become fuzzy.

But, make no mistake about it… Someone who is placing cash before the client in “the real world” can just as easily be spotted online as he or she can be offline.

Instead of considering how we, as social media marketers, can exploit our “friends” we should, instead, connect with them, engage them, include them.

A woman once told me “everyone has a story to tell, everyone has a book to sell.”

Social media allows us to tell our unique story — and telling stories is one of the most powerful tools of engagement known to man.

It’s the way we pass down oral traditions. It’s how many soothe their kids to sleep. And it’s the way the most effective authors and copywriter magnetically draw our eyeballs to their words.

Social media sites like Facebook, Myspace, and yes - even Twitter - allow residents of Web 2.0 to tell their stories. Whenever you upload a picture on Facebook, write a blog post on Myspace, or answer the question “what are you doing” on Twitter — you’re telling your story.

Have you ever noticed the most “popular” people on these social networking sites are also the most active? That’s not mere coincidence. Those social site leaders/celebs recognize — whether consciously or not — that people want to connect.

Otherwise, those follows wouldn’t be leaving photo comments and wall posts. They wouldn’t be taking time out of their day to send messages and gifts. And the leaders of those communities are eager to reciprocate the gesture. That’s how you become visible. That’s how you get to the top. That’s how you stay there.

What’s brilliant is that social media sites like Facebook are viral. You’ll generate attention and attraction simply by participating. The more you participate, the more exposure you’ll receive.

Once you have that, leveraging your network for profitable gain will be like a walk in the park.

Takeaway Points:

  • Social Media Marketing is about “relationships first, sales second.”
  • Tell your story simply by participating: adding photos, leaving wall posts, sending messages.
  • Once you’ve attracted attention, engage your fans, followers, and friends by connecting with them.
  • Add value to their lives and endeavors, then - and, only then - focus on financial gain.