If there is any upside to lockdown it has to be that it gives us the time and opportunity to reach out to people online and to make new and valuable business connections but because we are doing this remotely there is perhaps a temptation to leave out some of the social niceties we would adopt if we were approaching people offline. This is a huge mistake.
Social media works because it is primarily social – people do business with each other when common interests line up and when a level of trust is established. To get the best results from Social Media connections we need to make friends with our new contacts so lets look at how we would do this socially because the same rules should apply.
Imagine you are at a party (think Facebook Group) and you see someone you would like to connect with. How do you start the conversation ? In a social situation you would introduce yourself and then encourage your potential friend to tell you a bit about themselves. You might comment on a topic that you know is of interest to them or you might share something that you think they will find valuable. It would also help if you acknowledged something that you liked about them or their work. What you wouldn’t do is tap them on the shoulder, tell them what you are selling and ask them to buy your products or promote your story to their friends. Here are a few other things that you definitely shouldn’t do if you want to build a business relationship.
The bottom line is that we all want to make connections and build our audiences. Creating affiliations with others who are more established than us is a brilliant way to build our own audiences but we should never forget that we are talking to human beings and we shouldn’t do anything online that we wouldn’t do offline.