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Reach out on Social Media
LONDON, February 5, 2013
LONDON, February 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Face-to-face networking is, surely, second to none.
I don't think that's up for debate. Social media is a means to support your face-to-face activities and, if embarked upon correctly, is immensely effective.Â Â Â Â
To potentialise your on and off-line networking, it's crucial to be people-friendly. Kind of obvious isn't it? However, why is it that we're prepared to shake hands when others reach out when we meet them yet, when it comes to - for example, accepting requests to connect on LinkedIn, most simply hit the 'Accept' button and do nothing else? Is that a warm handshake? Â
Wouldn't it be better to send a brief message to thank the person whose invitation you've just received? Â Surely, it'll not only show you care, but also stand out positively against a back-drop of the majority who don't bother doing so? Your new connection is likely to appreciate your gesture and remember you for that too!
Additionally, what about when you request a connection on Linkedin? In my view, using LinkedIn's predetermined script, "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" is nothing more than a cold handshake. Sure, it's better than no message at all, however where's the effort to personalise?
In one of my workshops, I shared a screen shot of my 'Invitations to connect' list. Of course, I hid the identity of those listed. Out of 18 requests, only 1 had bothered to personalise their message to me. It seems that people spare little time for one another here. I'd like to think it's done subconsciously. What I know is, the few who do personalise do it consciously, meaning some care is being invested. That's engagement.
I see this as an opportunity for you.
Make an effort by personalising when you can. Small gestures like this really do make a difference. If you're concerned that it takes too much time, why not set up some pre-written templates, say in MSWord, and copy / paste and 'top and tail' by adding the recipient's name and making your message relevant? Â
These small, yet proactive messages count and they all help build your reputation of being an engager.
There are countless other gestures like this you can apply when on-line. After all, why not be social, when it comes to social networking?
John Coupland, author ofÂ 'ACCELerate™ Your Social Media', is a multi-award winning e-Business & Networking Professional. John has over 25 years of award-winning experience in retail and account management, with over 18 years in e-business. He left the corporate world in 2009 and founded and runs a number of influential social networking groups, consisting of thousands of business owners, alongside his business, @networkerplus Social Media. He helps businesses with their social media strategies, speaks at events and also runs on-line campaigns for SMEs and leading brands.