Pro Advice: 15 Social Media Experts on Networking
This is a guest post – Mike Hanski is a writer and content marketer at bid4papers.com. He is passionate about literature, edtech trends and all things social media. See more from Mike at Twitter and Google+
Social media marketing is no longer evolving; it’s exploding. And networking via these channels is one extremely crucial aspect of marketing, as it relates to whom, where and when a business communicates, in order to develop, grow, and maintain communities.
As marketing campaigns are developed, going social means that businesses must identify the communities they wish to pursue and to forge new and unique ways to network within those communities.
For new marketers, this can prove challenging – unless they take advantage of the freely available expertise.
Here is a list of 15 top marketing and networking experts sharing the essential takeaways on building and nourishing relationships online.
1. Jeff Bullas
“Twitter can be an excellent medium to start building relationships with industry thought leaders. Start engaging with these people by curating their content, mentioning them, asking relevant questions or answer cross-questions. Get them to know you and identify you as “a lovely helpful chap” from Twitter, rather than a stranger asking for something out of the blue.”
Jeff Bullas’s advice on the benefits of using Twitter to develop a network of connections with influencers is spot on for any social media platform. If you follow the thought leaders in your niche, engage and establish relationships, they can be truly beneficial down the road, helping you spread your content to their audience.
“Twitter can be an excellent medium to start building relationships with industry thought leaders.” – @JeffBullas [Click to Tweet]
2. Neil Patel
One of the biggest influencers in content marketing and networking, Patel provides specific steps for networking on Facebook.
“Look for brands that complement yours by searching on Facebook. You probably have a good idea of who these brands are already so you can look directly for them. Otherwise, search for terms relating to your industry and use hashtag searches to find relevant brands… this strategy will expose your brand to the exact type of people that fit your target community member profile.”
“Look for brands that complement yours by searching on Facebook” – @neilpatel [Click to Tweet]
3. Seth Godin
Godin advises that companies cannot just develop a product or service and market it. The customer is now in control, and building a network community is about connecting first and massaging that relationship. The selling comes later.
“…companies need to really embrace the network effect… understand that what actually spreads are ideas that are better when they spread… That is the mindset that I am trying to help people bring to this story, to be in the business not of getting customers, but of writing a novel, telling a story, connecting with people that want to be connected to. It takes an enormous amount of humility to do this and a lot of marketers don’t have that.”
“Be in the business not of getting customers, but of connecting with people” – @thisissethsblog [Click to Tweet]
4. Danny Brown
Brown cautions businesses to develop a strong online presence and to network with communities carefully.
“Everything you do is how you are seen. Your product; your employees; your care package; your customers. How you interact with them via different mediums is how your “brand” will be defined, internally and externally.”
“Everything you do is how you are seen” – @DannyBrown [Click to Tweet]
5. Rand Fishkin
At a recent social media marketing conference, Fishkin opened his keynote address with such words: “The long-awaited dominance and bias of search results toward brands is here”.
What Fishkin is telling businesses is that they must focus on networking to build new brands and share stories, rather than being concerned with competing for SEO with the bigger guys. If you build your communities, you won’t have to be so obsessed with SEO. Your network will do the marketing for you.
“The long-awaited dominance and bias of search results toward brands is here” – @RandFishkin [Click to Tweet]
6. Keith Ferrazzi
Here is some sound advice from the person who has bridged traditional and content marketing. Spreading your brand means that you must first be seen as generous, as someone who wants to help and provide solutions. As this notion about you and your brand is spread through online communities, you then have the “right,” in their eyes, to ask for the purchase.
“Through blogging and other forms of content creation, there’s also an unprecedented ability to turn yourself into someone that others are dying to meet. In the last 10 years, it’s become possible for anybody to become a microcelebrity – to build their own brand among very targeted audiences,” says Ferrazzi. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity for anyone who has enough perseverance and fortitude to do that.” Ferrazzi believes it’s essential to “lead with generosity; lead with being of service to people. The more ‘of service’ you are, the more currency you have, and the more people will want to spend time with you.”
“Lead with generosity: the more ‘of service’ you are, the more currency you have” – @ferrazzi [Click to Tweet]
7. Ivan Misner
Networking is all about long-term relationship building. You have to build relationships before trust; and with trust comes a willingness to do business with you.
“Networking is like farming, because it is about cultivating long term relationships to help your business grow. There is some, but minimal, immediate return on your time investment, but any large reward will take a while to begin rolling in. You need to dedicate the time to build your relationships so that your contacts trust you and are more willing to help you. Don’t let impatience get in your way of growing your business.”
“Networking is like farming, it’s about cultivating long term relationships to grow your business” – @ivanmisner [Click to Tweet]
8. Andy Crestodina
“Content promotion is about finding the right audience. Online networking is about connecting with specific individuals. Twitter targeting does both. It’s a fast, simple way to find your next super fan … and maybe a new friend.”
Crestodina provides actionable steps to locate that type of audience on Twitter with whom you will want to establish relationships. Find the readers with the help of his search techniques and bring them into your community to use for brand promotion.
“Online networking is about connecting with specific individuals. ” – @Crestodina [Click to Tweet]
9. Laura Cummins
“Social media is virtual networking. Take the time to build relationships just like you would face to face.”
People with whom you have a strong relationship tend to share that relationship with others. Their audience becomes your audience too.
“Social media is virtual networking. Take the time to build relationships like you would face to face.” – @NineDotz [Click to Tweet]
10. Christopher Penn
As the vice-president of marketing technologies for SHIFT Communications, Penn is a prominent social media influencer.
“Content is no longer king, he says, communities are. They must be built through very strong social media networking efforts. Community, from the perspective of marketing, and especially social media marketing, is an equation: Community = Content x Conversation x Caring x Commonality.”
“Content is no longer king, communities are.” – @cspenn [Click to Tweet]
11. Ahna Hendrix
“Social media isn’t the little kid it used to be – it’s growing up at a faster pace than we expected.” Says Hendrix, CEO of Arch Digital.
With such rapid growth comes much greater complexities. Networking tasks become more complicated in terms of reaching a target audience when and where that audience is online and finding the right channels for the right audience.
“Social media isn’t the little kid it used to be – it’s growing up at a faster pace than we expected.” – @AhnaHendrix [Click to Tweet]
12. John Lee Dumas
“Find three or four social media platforms where you can build the strongest presence that will be most beneficial for your business” – suggests John Lee Dumas.
Spreading too thin and trying to be everywhere means you are likely to end up nowhere. Tap into Google Analytics and analyze your latest stats. Which social media channels have brought you the most quality traffic? Focus on establishing and developing your presence on those platforms where your potential clients hang out. Instagram is great to connect with Millennials, but LinkedIn is the place to be if your goal is to build new B2B and B2C relationships.
“Find the social platforms where you can build the strongest presence for your business” – @johnleedumas [Click to Tweet]
13. Ben Grossman
“New marketing is about the relationships, not the medium.”
The idea behind Grossman’s comment is this: find the social media platforms that allow you to connect with your potential customers, establish relationships through networking efforts with them, make your brand trustworthy. If that relationship is sound, those with whom you connect will network for you from that point forward.
“New marketing is about the relationships, not the medium.” – @bengrossman [Click to Tweet]
14. Pam Dyer
“If your social media accounts contain an endless stream of only your content, it is off-putting for the most part.”
One way to foster networking is to post relevant content from others in your niche. Afterwards, they share “you” and their communities share you too. Dyer recommends that of every 10 posts, 5 are from others in your niche, 3 are from you, and 2 are personal for relationship building. She is one of the Forbes top 25 social media influencers, so what she has to say might be worth listening to.
“If your social media accounts contain an endless stream of only your content, it is off-putting” – @pamdyer [Click to Tweet]
15. Julie Neidlinger
“80% of the U.S. population is in ET and CT. Target SMM posting times to reach the biggest audience.”
Building your network means that you are connecting with your target audience at the right times – the times when it is hanging out online. Knowing when to post content is just as important as the content itself. And being mindful of time zones is critical.
“Target SMM posting times to reach the biggest audience.” – @JulieNeidlinger [Click to Tweet]
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