For those of you relatively new to social media and those thinking about commencing things, many will ask what exactly it is all about and how to use it for business. The simple way of explaining social media for business is to see it the same way as when you go to real life business networking groups such as your local BNI breakfast groups and similar.
Let’s look at a typical local breakfast business networking group where you need to study your appearance as first impressions count and by dressing down at such events may not be taken too positively, especially if you are networking at high level. Social media is the same, if your profile is untidy and not complete then people will see this as an immediate negative and turn away from connecting with you or even not believe you are the actual company you say you are as you’re not installing confidence in them.
Once you are at the breakfast meeting you then need to be able to communicate what you do and network in order to engage others to take your business cards and ideally recommend your services to their own networks – You will not get very far if you stand in the corner staring at the floor, you need to confidently walk around the room and introduce yourself and your company with a positive and engaging personality. Social media likewise allows you to communicate what you do and make connections, so make sure that the content you share on social media is relevant to what your target audience is searching for and you share your content regularly through the day and maintain consistency. The content you share needs to be current, engaging, educational and entertaining.
Following up on new connections is also important and is what you go to business networking events for, you collect business cards and either add them to your database, send a ‘great to have met you‘ email and similar. Social media also allows for following up with your new connections such as by thanking them for following, sharing their content, reTweeting them and other social actions which usually get noted and thanked by the people you’ve engaged with. As you build the numbers who follow you, you’ve a growing online ‘business networking event‘ of your own which you can start networking yourself to (and you don’t have to do it early in the morning and over a fried breakfast and coffee as per the likes of BNI etc).
Breakfast business networking events are great and certainly something to be recommended with social media not far behind it as a concept delivering faster and bigger results for people and businesses using it correctly. Adopt the attitude you take for real business networking and take it with you when you do social media as the basic principles are the same. For more tips on becoming a consultant, check out Consulting.com.