By Joel G. Block, CPA, CSP
People frequently ask how I have such a significant social media following and how I engage with them.
I have put together a few thoughts to help my friends and colleagues be more successful on-line. I don’t speak or consult on this topic, but it was recently reported that my LinkedIn network is the #70 largest network on the planet.
Having great “offline” networking skills doesn’t come easy but we have learned through trial and error – or because other people helped us be more effective. But online, most people lack the same level of social networking skills, and even fewer succeed in generating any material amount of leads for their offline businesses.
To me, there is some etiquette that seems to work. I am no Emily Post, but I have a few suggestions I hope will create more mutual support and better business success for each of us.
The old adage is that the fuel of networking is “giving”.
Start giving if you want to receive – and by the way, you have to give before you get. Here are some ideas so we can help each other make a huge difference in all of our social media performance – and on our ability to monetize it too. You don’t have to do all of these to be helpful – but the more you do and the more you give, the more you are likely to receive.
- On Facebook, “like” everything unless you really don’t like it. Think of the word “like” as “acknowledge” instead. Add comments if appropriate. More “likes” move posts higher in the timeline area. Did you ever give a talk, ask for questions, and there were none? Same feeling when you get almost no “likes”. Plus it helps me to remember what posts I have already read which saves time in the future. If 50 people see a post, 45+ should “acknowledge” it.
- Read and review the books and other assets of your colleagues. Post your thoughts about them for others to consider on Facebook and Amazon (among other places). Your third party testimonial is very valuable.
- Retweet. Retweet. Retweet.
- Share and repost articles on LinkedIn.
- “Like” articles that you see on LinkedIn and make comments when appropriate. Sharing is even better – and by the way, I find that sharing on LinkedIn increases my exposure in many valuable ways.
- Follow others on Twitter with the expectation that they will follow you.
- Connect on LinkedIn – never IDK (i.e. click “I don’t know” the person). Networking is a game of leapfrog. It’s not about the person connecting to you – it’s about who is in their network that might be helpful to you.
- Give recommendations on LinkedIn if appropriate. This is a great place to put them because they are here permanently. They can be used by the recipient for multiple other applications for example because LinkedIn is building a social media engine to compete with Klout.
- All reviews should be positive – not necessarily balanced. If you are not trained as a professional journalist, don’t pretend to be one. And if you don’t have something nice to say, ask your mom what to do.
- Nobody wants to toot their own horn – and besides, a testimonial from a third person is so much better than self-promotion. Give as many 3rd party insights as is appropriate. It helps others to get to know your colleague and it gives them a very good impression of you.
- If you are an expert and you know how to do something well, share that with others. Don’t sell to your colleagues. Networking and selling don’t mix. Give your expertise freely (to peers not clients) which will boost your status as an expert in your field. We are all here to learn and teach, network and grow. Contribute to that process as best as you can. I am an expert (not a broker) in the money business (hedge funds, venture capital, alternative assets and raising capital). What do you want to know? I’ll happily share.
Let’s make these actions habits and you will be pleasantly surprised by what comes back to you.
This article was originally posted at joelblock.com.
Joel G. Block, CPA, CSP is a faculty member of LEADERSHIP USA.