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How to make the right social media connections

As social media continues to saturate both personal and professional lives and becomes more vital to business, it’s valuable to note that it’s not a popularity contest. If you’re going to spend time making connections, you want to ensure they’re the right ones.

Popularity will only get you so far and those that think it is all about ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ or ‘connections’ is approaching social media in a traditional mindset. It’s not all about quantity and traffic – the connections are just numbers and names. It’s quality that counts and will get you further.

Instead of asking yourself how can I get more ‘connections’ or ‘likes’, the better question to ask is “how do I get the most out of my connections regardless of the number I have?” It’s the emotional and personal connection established in social media that is key, not the quantity of connections gained.

So what’s the best way to move forward?

Audit your connections: are the connections you have so far getting you anywhere? If not, maybe it is time to do a bit of research to see whom you would like to be connecting with. For example, if you have a LinkedIn profile, you may like to ask for an introduction from your closet connection to introduce you to someone from within your industry who may be of value.

Don’t accept random invites: this is not to say that you shouldn’t accept these invitations but give some thought as to whether the connection is right for you. Are these the types of people that you would like to attract? If yes, great, if not, who is your ideal connection? Most people accept all invitations without thinking as social media platforms encourage this. Next time think before you click!

Go slow: although there are overnight successes, the majority of businesses will have to earn their popularity. The best plan is to have a strategy and stick with it. Don’t just jump right in looking for the instant hit – take your time and adjust if needed.

Inform, don’t sell: content is important in social media as it’s a source of information. Through this information you indirectly sell your products and service by giving expert and knowledgeable opinions. If you establish yourself as an information source, you place yourself in a better position to sell yourself the long run.

An important element when engaging with social media is to get yourself out of the old style marketing mindset. This one-way direction marketing style doesn’t apply with social media, which is a two-way communication relationship where the customer is no longer passive.

Having more ‘friends’ or ‘likes’ doesn’t mean more customers, getting the right connections for your product or service is important as these people are more likely to engage. Aim for the customers that will likely stay and say yes. Shift your thinking and approach it with a different outlook and this will lead to new ways of connecting and interacting.

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Anna Cairo

Anna Cairo

Anna is a social media communications expert. She supports businesses to increase their online presence through social media. Additionally, she also educates businesses around the impacts social media creates in the workplace and how to minimise these risks. She is a writer, researcher and author writing for diverse audiences on a range of topics. Further, she conducts workshops, presentations and is regularly asked to speak to lawyers around social media risk. Anna was recently nominated for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2013. You can join Anna on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Cairo-Consulting/285887488090944">Facebook</a> or visit <a href="http://www.annacairo.com">www.annacairo.com</a>.

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