How to use social media efficiently for online networking

Social Media can be time and energy drain if you don't create systems around it. In the beginning it will require some sort of willpower to make this activity as a habit but soon enough you will see positive results in your business because of that.

One of the mistakes business owners make is wanting to have "viral" content and engagement without engaging themselves.

Social Media is perfect either to connect with fellow entrepreneurs that you've never met in real life or deepen relationships with those whom you met at networking events or seminars etc.​

To save time I would recommend that once a month (at the end of the month) you look through your online connections  on all social media platforms that you ​use.

Note: if you do it once a week it will take you less time.

The idea is that first you go through connections and create a list only, schedule in the calendar when you are going to connect with them and stick to your schedule.

Below there are examples how you can see quickly who your new connections are.

Note: by connecting I don't meant that you send them a link with your offer or add them to your mailing list without their permission. I am talking being really interested in the other person. ​

Facebook Personal profile  can be used for business very successfully, the rule here is simple - be interested in other people. Don't try to sort them out with your offers either free or paid, make a connection first. 

In my books, the person who sends a friend request should be the first one who follows up with a message but very often it's not the case.

Below you can see how you can see your latest connections. Make a note in your calendar when you are going to connect with them, but before that look at their profile - what's happening in their lives, whether you have common friends - this will help you to start the conversation.

Big no-no for me is when somebody sends me a friend request and send after I've accept sends me an invitation to like their page, they've got unfriended straight away.​

LinkedIn

Similarly, on LinkedIn you can sort your contacts by date when you connected and reach out to the newest first. At this time you don't need to send them messages; put the date in the calendar when you are going to do it. At the moment we are focusing on the overview.

​Instagram 

If you use Instagram just for posting pretty pictures and you are not focusing on increasing engagement then you can skip this step. But even out of interest you can find out who is following you and you may choose to follow them back. (you don't have to)​

Go to your Instagram account on desktop and click on "Followers" ​

This a great app to have clarity about your followers on Instagram 

Twitter

Currently I am not using Twitter actively but once a month I look at my followers and choose whether I want to follow them back. ​ When you go to your Twitter account you click on your Followers tab and see all new connections. 

Some people have a nasty habit to follow you and then unfollow, these people definitely are not your potential business collaborators or clients, to eliminate these unfollowers I use https://app.manageflitter.com

If you do these activities weekly it will take you less time to implement. Remember to allocate some time to build relationships. Networking online is similar to networking in real life, only difference is that you use virtual space.

If you want to learn how become more efficient with your networking activities I  recommend a great book by Andy Lopata ​"Recommended: How to sell through networking and referrals.

About the Author Inga Deksne

Making Social Media Easy! Helping small business owners to get more visibility, more leads and more profit via Social Media platforms. Follow Inga on Periscope @ingadeksne

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