The Importance of Adding Value

Once your social media plan is up and running, with a clearly defined goals and objectives, you will want to continue to build relationships, establish professional credibility, and increase your visibility.  In order to retain your following and keep their interest you’ll want to be sure to:

  •  Be compelling, providing a reason why folks are happy you contacted them
  • Provide advice freely and openly without being at all self-serving—give FIRST and generously
  • Tap into your network for insights on trends and industry news

One mistake people make is building a contact “empire” of 500+ connections, friends, and followers only to find that they don’t know who these people are or what would be of interest to them.  What value do they bring in terms of business insight or shared interests and values?  What information from you will make them more interested and engaged?

It’s not easy to sort through this.  But unless you have an organized plan to reach out to contact people, you will never answer these questions.  And, importantly, if you don’t contact them, the relationship becomes weakened. 

Participation in groups on LinkedIn that focus on specialized expertise, interests and industries, and organizing followers into categories on TweetDeck or FriendFeed for Twitter, are two examples of ways to start sorting through the maze, identify connections with shared interests, and segment them as you develop a targeted touch program.

Remember, as I said in a previous blog, it’s not all about getting business.  It’s about establishing a connection—building a relationship.  People will differ in their approach.  A colleague of mine with a natural gift of gab can connect with people–and does so with sincerity.  If you make yourself available as a source of helpful assistance and advice and listen attentively, people will naturally gravitate toward you.    Remember too that people love to be asked for their opinion.  So if you seek their input, then again you benefit from solidifying a relationship. 

Whatever your way of connecting with others, make it part of a consistent plan and remember to give generously and be responsive.  That way you establish yourself as a valuable resource and a relationship can develop that is mutually beneficial.

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