In a previous post, I shared 3 simple strategies to build relationships. I want to take that concept a step further by discussing some specific ways to get social with your networking by utilizing today’s technology to strike up online relationships.
Even if you are averse to networking, it’s easy to do online — sometimes so much so that you won’t even consider it networking.
8 Painless and Natural Ways to Network Online
Todays technology offers so many shortcuts which enable us to reach out to others, connect with them, notify them and build relationships whilst doing so. Here are just 8 simple ways to network online using some of the most popular platforms:
1. Share other’s content and tag them
When you create content you’re proud of, what’s better than to be recognized for it?! Others feel the same way. If you read a blog post or article that impresses you, share it with your network and let the creator know by tagging them in the social media post or by linking to them in your blog post. You can also post on their page to inform them of your share or drop them a quick email. It’s an easy way to introduce yourself, stroke their ego, build up good will, and keep the 80/20 rule as it applies to your online social media marketing and promotional efforts.
2. Join social media link-ups
Have you ever promoted yourself by sharing your website link or a link to your favorite social media page? Particularly on Facebook and Twitter, you will find link-ups during which you are invited to share your links. This is a simple and quick way to boost your numbers, but make sure to use it to build relationships with other contacts of interest to you and your business. If followers write you to let you know they have followed as part of the link-up, make sure to acknowledge them with a reply and maybe a return follow.
3. Join blog link-ups
Similar to social media link-ups, blog link-ups allow you to share your links to increase exposure. Once again, make sure to return the favor and interact with other pages. These link-ups are intended to build relationships, not just numbers.
4. Attend webinars/hangouts/chats & interact before/after
Not only are webinars, workshops, Google hangouts, and chats ideal ways to pick up knowledge, they can also be used to meet others. During the event, make sure to participate when asked by chatting with moderators and other attendees. Another way I love to network is to follow up on social media before and after the event, especially on Twitter using related hashtag(s). You can also thank the host and moderators for the event and share what you learned. Look for related posts using the event hashtag and ‘Like,’ Favorite, +1 or comment as appropriate. Someone may notice your action and engage with you.
5. Introduce your content
Know someone who may be interested in your content or someone else’s? Tag them when you share it. This can be a helpful way to strike up an online relationship, but use with care—you don’t want to annoy them! I love when people tag me in social media postings they know I will be interested in, whether I am acquainted with them already or not.
6. Give a shout-out
Let’s face it — flattery often works. Especially when it’s sincere. Mention your favorite brands, bloggers and experts in your blog posts or articles. Then feel free to email them, contact them on social media, or tag them to inform them of the mention. Just make sure to make them feel special and avoid doing so in a spammy or unnatural way. They should feel honored, not like you are using them to achieve your own self-promotion.
7. Join Facebook groups
Facebook groups are a fun and easy way to interact with others about a topic or cause you care about. It’s also an organic way to meet others, share your expertise, and promote what you have to offer. Just make sure to follow the rules and engage in an online experience that benefits everyone involved, not just yourself.
8. Contribute guest blog posts
Even if unpaid, guest blogging offers benefits. Guest blogging allows you additional opportunities for exposure. One of the reasons I love guest blogging on this website is the chance to talk about a topic of interest to me that is outside the niche of my own blog. Providing a guest blog post is also an excellent way to network indirectly. Contribute guest blog posts to other websites you enjoy reading—you will build up relationships with those who run the website, as well as a whole new audience. Don’t forget to respond to comments made on your guest blog post. Take advantage of the opportunity to help out the website your guest blog post is featured on by sharing it with your network.
Network without Knowing It
With today’s modern technology, it’s so simple to find a way to network that you feel comfortable with. Take some time to think about how you spend your time online and how you can use those occasions to strike up online relationships.
What online activities do you already participate in that can be used as opportunities to network?
What are your favorite ways to network organically?