- Connect with purpose. Seek to “friend” or “link” with people who are in your industry, do business with you, or those who are valuable network connections for you. Check who sees your LinkedIn profile, who likes your Facebook posts, and consider adding them to your contacts.
- Connect personally. Never use the form email offered on Facebook or LinkedIn, create a personal message that includes a mention of how you can be of value to them through your connections or your business. Offering to help others makes you stand out in a great way. In my view, the acceptance rate is elevated by being more personal and courteous in your connection request.
- Honesty is the best policy. Be honest about who you are, what you bring to the table, and what you can do for others. Everything you do online is public and affects your reputation.
- Mind your manners. Be polite, be considerate, avoid controversy. The really funny racy joke should be saved for close friends, not posted in public, the same for that political cartoon that’s guaranteed to offend half of your contacts. If you wouldn’t say it to your spouse’s grandmother or your boss, don’t share or post it.
- Be consistent. Post at least once or twice a week. A frequent, positive presence on social media builds interest, trust, and recognition.
- Mix it up. Use a mixture of original content such as your solution to a common industry issue, upbeat and appropriate personal content (your favorite quote, news of a promotion or new baby), and valuable shared content such as professional articles, or news stories about your industry or organization.
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