Not a week goes by when the topic of adding contacts comes up as a water cooler conversation at work. And while opinions differ, my point of view is that we (as bloggers) need to keep an eye on build real connections, rather than just adding contacts through our social media interactions.
I had a more elaborate discussion on the topic on a previous post: 3 Simple Tips For Building Successful Connections On Social Media – but in a nutshell the idea is to be able to relate to (either one-to-one) or as a part of a tribe everyone with whom you are connected, platform not withstanding. Only then a contact is a connection – and a long, symbiotic relationship can blossom out.
That also get’s us to a different question – are there surefire ways to to build real contacts with social media? Thankfully, the answer is yes. These steps are simple – without being simplistic – and offer a nice insight into how real – and lasting relationships are built – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn … or any other relevant social media platform.
Add Value Through Your Blogs And Content:
The assumption here is that you produce some content, text or otherwise, on a platform. At one end of the spectrum, you could be a blogger – at the other end you offer professional services and have a web presence. Everyone of us would fall somewhere in this spectrum. The idea is to create real value – as opposed to shabby, irrelevant content duplication.
Connect Through Comments That Are Relevant And Add Value:
As Mike CJ rightly says, “Community is at the heart of blogging, and commenting is at the heart of community. Your blog commenting strategy is vital to the success of your blog” – and your contacts! You want to flock together with other birds (nay – bloggers) of the same feather – and in doing so make their content even better.
Mike’s original post, Comment On Other Blogs!, can be found at: http://www.mikeslife.org/content/comment-other-blogs
Build Relevant, Real Contacts:
Once again, the thrust here is to focus on building relevant, real contacts. Bloated contact and connection numbers do no benefit apart from providing you with a false sense of inflated ego. When the time comes to leverage these connections, you will be surprised at how many of them vanish in a blink.
Provide Tangible, Constructive Feedback:
We are all humans – and like everyone else – we make mistakes. Your connections (existing, or potential) are not exception. Provide tangible, constructive feedback to them on their blogs, contents and products. They will appreciate the gesture, and thank for it.
Remember your friend in school who told you had a bad breath? You probably were cross with him for a couple of hours – but his constructive feedback most likely helped you go out on weekend dates ;)! Be sure to be honest, sincere and authentic, though. Keep all negativity out of the feedback.
Help And Ask For Help:
There’s nothing more comforting than having a sense of security based on safety net to catch your falls. Be that safety net for your social media connections – volunteer to help out with their problems. Be a go-to-guy for your network – find solutions, rather than brooding on challenges and concerns.
Also, people like when they are asked to help. It empowers them to make a difference. Don’t try to slug out your own problems alone. Reach out to your network for help – and gratefully accept help. You’ll be surprised at how strong your social media network becomes based on your cross help and support.
Here’s the summary:
- Add real value, stay relevant
- Comment, and augment the value of the original content
- Flock with birds of the same feather
- Provide tangible, constructive feedback
- Help, and ask for help
What do you think? Do these tips make sense? They are working for me – how about you?
(Image Credit: Thomas Hawk http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/)