Most of us remember making friends when we were young, on the playground, in the street on our bicycles, and of course in the classroom. As we grew up, graduated high school then college we became professionals, and our networking or “making friends” evolved. Slowly local chambers entered our world, volunteering within organizations became a passion, even in church we met new people. These are places where new relationships began.
Today making friends, and networking looks different than it did a few years ago. The digital age we live in dictates how we socialize, how we meet new clients, how we network. Think about it the majority of our communication is digital. As professionals we use the social platforms, most of us on a daily basis, pushing content out not only about ourselves but also what we do. We keep talking and as time goes by we wonder why the engagement from our peers fades.
Think about it, the old school playground conversation was not one-sided... Neither was the conversation at the local chamber happy hour or luncheon. So why would a conversation in the social space be any different?
Think about your current social media strategy. Is it one-sided? Are you doing all the talking? If so it’s time to redirect. Here are a few tips on how to engage, network or make friends in the social space. Keep in mind each platform is different. These tips are top level and will allow you to become comfortable with reaching out to various brands, people, and organization in the social space.
Think of who you want to get to know better within your community: Chances are they have a social media presence. Check Facebook first. Search for each one individually, like their page as your business, not as you the business owner. If you need assistance reference this guide for step by step directions. https://www.facebook.com/business/help/community/question/?id=117813998600653
Take the time to read their content: like it, love it, express emotion on it via the platform. Twitter makes it simple to retweet a post, or quote a tweet before you retweet. (Give your opinion on it before sharing) Remember conversations in the “real” world are not one-sided you have to participate as well as listen.
We are all busy. It is just that simple. Start scheduling yourself for 30 minutes 2-3 times each week to engage. In bed with your first cup of coffee, while eating lunch, or in the middle of the day when you need a break from a task. We look at our personal social media accounts numerous times each day. Make it a habit to do this on your professional one as well.
Have Fun. Look at this as an opportunity to meet people, engage with organizations on a new level.