If you are in business, you know that networking plays a very important part in your business success. Given the opportunity to go to a networking function, you jump at the chance. Question is, when you go, do you speak only about yourself and your business? No. So why do so many businesses do just that on Social Media?

Twitter, Facebook, Google +, you name it. Follow a platform and it will be full of people pushing their message, but not listening or even being interested in a reply. They treat it like every other form of media, rather than as what it is; networking.

Making Connections

Any business entering Social Media should think about doing the one thing. Put out a few posts a day, sure, but spend a majority of your Social Media time observing. Listening. Learning. With millions upon millions of people posting content everyday, you can be sure that you will find something that will interest you, that you can learn from or connect to. Even more important, you are likely to connect with someone new and thereby expand your personal network.

As you listen and learn, you become more comfortable in the crowd. As you connect with people, you get introduced to more people. Soon, those people are getting to know you and are introducing you to more people, further expanding your network. As your personal network expands, so does the exposure of your business and the products / services you offer. The larger your network, the better chance you have of gaining new clients. Just like traditional networking.

Here’s a simple tip: Create a Hootsuite account and create streams of your favourite topics. Mix in Facebook and a favourite app from the app directory (like TrendSpottr). Dive in. Have fun. And don’t forget to Look & Listen.

Sean Smith

Sean is Managing Partner in ThatSocialMediaGuy.com, a Social Media consulting company based in Campbell River, BC. Sean has almost 20 years of experience in the IT industry, from a HelpDesk Manager to business owner. Sean has been active on Social Media platforms, since joining LinkedIn in 2005. Since then he has consulted on the development of Social Media strategies for a wide variety of businesses, from retail to tourism, instructed at workshops, been a guest and keynote speaker at various conferences, has been working as the tech/start-up author for Steamfeed.com and has recently become the Editor of the Social Media Camp Blog.

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