A guest post by Lori Lynn Smith of Holistic-Solopreneur
Social Media is an amazing way to expand both your personal and business connections locally and worldwide.
The challenge is to not to just get out there and start interacting, but it is to do it in a way that is aligns with your personal and business values. You want to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are there to create long lasting relationships.
What is social media?
In its most basic form Social Media is online communication. A more in-depth definition would be…
“Social Media are the various forms of user generated content and the collection of websites and applications that enables people to interact and share information online. “ Daily Blog Tips
A short list of things that fall under the Social Media umbrella: online forums, blogs, Facebook, social bookmarking, video sharing, photo sharing, streaming video, and crowdsourcing.
Where to start?
There are a few sites out there, so what where is the best place to start? The first question to ask is your tribe there? So regardless of the Social Media website, are the people that you are trying to reach are there? There are 3 big sites where you can find LARGE groups of people in MANY different groups, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. These are the websites that I personally recommend as your start to building your relationships.
There are just a few steps to complete and I suggest that you pick one website and start with just that one, use it, interact and engage with your tribe until you are comfortable then move on to the next.
#1 – Sign up
Head over to the websites and setup your profile. Each website has detailed instructions on how to set up your basic profile. A quick search on www.youtube.com will result in several hundred “how to” videos.
#2 – Search for your tribe
Send some time searching for your current friends and/or clients, then move on to look for groups or pages that are in alignment with you and your business. The search box is right at the top of the page, enter names or keywords. For example if I was a graphic designer, looking to connect with other designers, I would type in “graphic” and view all results. You will see a selection of pages, groups and companies related to or with the keyword graphic.
#3 – Engage your tribe
This is where you can really have fun. My first recommendation is “be you, be real.” Even online it is very easy to tell if a person is just interested in promoting or if they are genuinely interested in building a relationship with you. It may seem cliché but “treat others as you would like to be treated.”
Here is how you really show you are interested in a real relationship:
A – Listen
First step is to find all the people that are the center of influence in your specific community. Follow and observe them. Watch how they use social networks. Listen to what they talk about, how they engage others. Model the behaviors that fit best with your community and your values.
B – Add Value
Before engaging a new community, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- How is this providing value to the conversation?
- How is this providing value to the community?
No, adding value is not giving out a link to your amazing product or service. Adding value is about giving freely of your time, knowledge and resources. Educate, advise and inform without a single thought for yourself.
C – Respond
This engagement, this communication with people via social media, it is just like having a coffee with a friend. Would you leave you friend waiting for an answer for a week, no. You need to respond, you need to answer questions. They are waiting for your advice, your opinion, and your knowledge.
D – Share the Wealth
Life is meant to be shared and Social Media is no different. There is some pretty amazing information out there, some might be yours, and some might do other awesome people. Sharing it fuels the conversations and relationships alike. Sharing is not just about information though, you can share your time, resources and education.
Once you have spent the time to set up your profiles, it really only takes a 15 minutes a day to maintain a visible friendly presence. Add a wall post, make a new friend, and chat with your existing friends very quick and easy.
Simple friendly genuine relationship building at its finest! Just think about it as afternoon coffee with a friend. Let’s plan coffee soon.
Lori Lynn Smith is a passionate and an authentic teacher who shares her real life experiences. Lori teaches Holistic Solopreneurs how to create Easy WordPress websites and Social Media relationships that are authentic and real. Learn more at Holistic-Solopreneur.