Over my lifetime, I have been fortunate to meet a lot of people through family, work, school, organizations and church. I really value these type of
relationships and for the most part I try to keep in touch with many of them.
In the last 10 years, I have been fortunate to develop acquaintances with other people online. Some great people and others not so great. There is a wide range of opinions on this topic and a case can be made for each of these groups:
- Some people would say these are superficial contacts.
- Others, would say they are just contacts with no strings attached.
- Still others would say these contacts are a bunch of fluff and stuff and no substance.
- Some others would say these are the people I engage with
- Some other people would say that anyone who is willing to connect with me, I will connect back with them.
The best part about these groups is “you” are in control. (Please stop debating this topic! It really is a matter of choice!)
Some tips I have learned over the past few years
On Linkedin, I try to get my name in front of connections I want to work with, and learn from. The only way to connect with other people is to get your name and company in front of others. Too many people only connect with the people they truly know. This is fine, but if you want more influence or exposure you need to take more action like sharing updates, writing content for a blog or joining a group. Linkedin is much more than a job search site. Spend time on the home update screen. TREND: People are sharing more valuable company information each day.
On Facebook, I use this site to connect with my closest friends, family and relatives. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing your pictures with people outside of this group, why are you connected to them. That is the philosophy I use.TREND: Some people share way too much. Too many strong opinions, political statements, judgements, etc. Be wary of who you are connected to. Lockdown your security settings.
On Twitter, I respond to people who may have read some of my content or send me a note. I use lists to sort out the people I want to lean more from and follow. The tools are there to organize the people that you come in contact with. Some people really like twitter chats. To me, short phrases have too many interpretations. A lot of work for very little learning. Look for people who share quality information. Stay away from people who post information every hour. More news is being shared here. TREND: People like reading good news information from reputable sources.
Pinterest, GooglePlus, Instagram, Vine, FourSquare and other sites – These sites are more like dashboards. It is good to spend some time on these sites, but don’t overdo it. This is my opinion and I know other people have great experiences on these sites. TREND: Watch your time, be aware of other sites, but cut back if you are not seeing return. Pinterest in my opinion is the best site out of this group for business.
Here are the “Real Takeaways” of this Article
Connect Locally – Make note of those people you have met online who live close in your community. Invite these type of people to connect. In the last year, I have really met some great people who have contributed to my knowledge in a number of ways.
Have a Presence – Get on Linkedin and share an update or comment on a blog or write one for that matter.
Share Quality Material – I have actually cut down on the material I share over the past year. I take a few days and really think about information that has made a difference in my life and could help someone at their location.
Take Social Media to Another Level with an Analytics Program– This year, I have been working with HubSpot. I had no idea that so many people were coming to our site on different occasions, but never wanted to open an account until I talked to them directly through email or phone. Don’t rely on system-generated emails either. Get Personal!
Learn More From Others Outside Your Industry – Connect with business people who work with a different set of clients or use completely different processes to produce results. If you always go back to the same people in your industry, you may be missing out. One of my favorite contacts works with furniture.
Identify a Group of Innovative Leaders – Going Digital is huge. Companies are going to need to address this topic today. Start looking for great leaders of companies who are making real advances in the way they do business.
Start Building a Network of Younger Leaders – There are lots of great young leaders with great ideas for the future. Stay young and connect more with those rising leaders. Learn about new technologies on the horizon. Make sure you have an understanding of what values the next generation brings to the table.
If you want to get ahead today, you can try to implement new technology, but if you want to make huge advances, look to connecting with the right people and connecting deeper with them. Show people that you offer something of value to them and start getting your name in front of people. At the same time, be a recruiting agent and look for people who make a difference in their workplace and community. Get to know these people in a deeper way and continue to grow personally and professionally. Remember, you are the person in control!