As I head in the door of a networking cocktail party, I am armed with a fist full of business cards and a smile. Nothing beats face to face interaction, however, I contend that, done properly, social media can expand your network footprint beyond where you can be, physically. And it really works the same way in person as it does online.
- Be Friendly.
Playing nice in the sand box is rule number one in social media. No one wants to be met with a snarky attitude, just as in person. Avoid overt sales pitches as well.
- Say something.
If you walk into a networking event with your business cards, but you stand on the side of the room and don’t talk to anyone, you wasted your time and money. The same is true in social media. If you have a great profile, but don’t offer to help or speak up, you won’t grow your network. You have to participate in the conversation. Wallflowers, drink a cup of courage, walk up to someone and introduce yourself. Chances are, they are just as intimidated as you and will be grateful for someone to talk to.
- Match make.
Let’s say you know someone who provides cloud storage services, and you were just talking with someone who needs those services. Introduce them! This works in both face to face and online venues. The best networkers I know are match makers. People love them!
- Be yourself.
Let your personality shine through – getting people to know you, like you and trust you, is the key to advancing your social authority – in person and online.