Social media doesn’t always feel like a friendly place, and when it comes to making business connections online, your social media channels can sometimes feel more like a stream of self-promotion than a genuine effort to make a connection.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Today, in honour of the UN’s International Day of Friendship, we’re looking at how you can put the camaraderie back into social media, and use the top social networking site for business, LinkedIn, to make real connections that will benefit both your business and your life.
Find your tribe
Social media is a great place for finding the people who make you feel like you belong, and this is no less true in the business world. Whatever industry you’re in, whatever size or stage of development your business is at, there will be others like you on LinkedIn, and with a little savvy searching you can find them. Connecting with people in the same boat as you, or who have been where you are and come out the other side, can be an invaluable source of advice and comfort, and it can also make you – and them – feel less alone.
Share your personality
Your online friends can’t truly get to know you unless you share a little of your personality and don’t always hide behind your ‘brand’. Of course, on a business networking site like LinkedIn it isn’t appropriate to share all of your personal woes and worries, but there is a healthy balance to be struck – present your business with a human face, some refreshing honesty and a touch of passion and warmth. The quality of your connections is bound to grow in return.
Follow people who interest you
It’s easy to find yourself writing faux enthusiastic comments or liking other people’s posts without reading them, just to meet a quota of online ‘connection’ for your business. But when social media becomes a mere exchange of button clicks, then the person-to-person connection behind it is lost. The remedy to this is to follow and interact with people who genuinely interest you. Naturally some of your LinkedIn connections are going to be strategic, but they don’t all have to be – when you find someone who captures your interest or makes you laugh, interaction ceases to be a chore.
Lift others up
Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to be entirely about your business. It might seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best way to get noticed online is to push others into the spotlight. Is there someone you know who is doing great things in your industry? Has one of your peers written something fascinating or worked on a really innovative project? Then shout about it on LinkedIn, and tag whoever you’re talking about so they can see that you appreciate what they do. This is the perfect antidote to the online stream of self-promotion – lifting others up helps us to make our social media platforms a more accepting, collaborative and friendly place.
Do you need expert help with your business’s social media? Get Ahead VA offers a full range of social media management services from skilled professionals, so you know your online profile is in good hands. We’d love to chat with you and find out exactly how we can help, so please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected]. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.