Social media is a vehicle able to take your company places you’ve never dreamed possible. A hundred years ago, going to China from Canada would have been a very long, impossible journey and now we can hop on a plane and be there in about a day! That’s what social media has become to the marketing world. You don’t get a free flight, but if you’re willing to pay for it, oh the places you can go!
There are three keys to building your online network that help pay for the flight:
1) Building Online Relationships
This happens pretty easily if you line yourself up with those who know your company and are excited to promote you to their networks. If no one knows who are you are (starting from square one), try promoting others before yourself – show you have faith in the other person’s company with the added benefit of building your company’s name. Those you promote are more likely to check you out and possibly share you with their network when you make the first move with them. Getting noticed online is important, but it can only be beneficial in unlocking the doors to your networking potential if used with the other two keys that follow.
For instance, the key for a flower shop would be to connect with wedding planners, wedding venues and others in the wedding industry. If the flower shop saw one of those contacts having a special on their packages, they might support, share and promote that contact. They should never direct message, tweet, tag and promote themselves without building that relationship. People can smell a selfish business a mile away and will want nothing to do with you.
2) Building Face to Face Relationship
Building relationship should not be online only! Stop in at their place of business, purchase a product or service from them, attend an event they are putting on and get involved in your industry face-to-face. This will build your network faster than an online “like” any day. It’s easy to sit at your desk all day focusing on your company, posting your deals and promoting your website, but it takes an act of selflessness to get out and support someone on the ground. Remember, when someone is looking for a service/product you offer, they will remember the company who supported them in a like minded way and probably turn to you to meet their needs.
3) Giving in Relationships
Relationships take time and money. What do you have to offer in your industry that you could give away for a nominal fee or at no cost? Do you have a services, experience or products you could offer to your networks? Do you have a blog you could post with information helpful and useful to your industry? Do you have a product you could give away twice a month to promote what you are selling? These are questions you should ask of yourself and your company if you want to build relationships in your network and promote your brand. We’ve found when a company invests in their audience, their audience will invest in them.
When looking through online social network feeds, which posts catch your attention and take time out of your day? Social media networking is all about promoting and engaging with industries in and out of your company’s sphere of influence. And this promoting, engaging and giving takes time – it’s certainly not an overnight success. Occasionally, a company will go “viral” and get that “free flight” but in most cases it takes hard work online and off to “save up” and finally go where you’ve always dreamed of going. The plane awaits…
Start to build your online network today! Contact us to get started!