Woody Allen said that 80 percent of success is showing up. We show up a lot differently today than when he made that quip. We show up in person and online. But the goals are still the same—to develop connections and build relationships.
In this month’s guest post from Megan Totka, chief editor of ChamberofCommerce.com, you’ll learn how to show up more effectively online:
“Today’s businesses are more connected than ever before. Companies both new and old are tasked with cementing a positive online presence and reputation in order to thrive in an online landscape that’s constantly evolving. While the challenge is great, the rewards of building rapport with clients and customers online are even greater.
As we bring our businesses online, we also bring our relationships along for the ride. From friends and acquaintances to potential customers and referrals, there are plenty of moving pieces when it comes to managing our online relationships. Social networks help us keep these pieces in check; however, many businesses aren’t making the most of such relationships.
While social media is one of the cornerstones of the modern SMB, the very same businesses struggle with finding a decent ROI for their efforts. The resolution comes in the form of meaningful, professional relationships.
How can companies and sales professionals get ROI from social networks? Leverage them in a way that’s both personable and positive.
The Potential Is There
If you have followers via social media, you have already broken down a barrier or two. In general, your organic followers are:
- Willing to listen and interested in what you have to say or sell
- Open to a dialogue
With them, you’re already in possession of some potentially powerful relationships. There’s no cold calling to be done; they follow you because they want to do so.
The Art of the Sharing
How do you open a meaningful dialogue? By sharing. Think of sharing as a two-way street, both lanes with great potential to strike up conversations with targeted followers.
- Share Them: There’s no better way to flatter followers than by sharing what they have to say. A simple retweet or share can be enough to pique their interest.
- Share With Them: Likewise, you can encourage interaction by sharing meaningful, targeted content and updates that appeal to certain followers. Whether you produce that content or find it elsewhere, the comments and discussion that follow help drive conversations and, eventually, meaningful referrals.
Producing engaging content is paramount for today’s businesses. It’s a great way to express yourself and reach your followers on a larger scale. If today’s content is like gold, why not give some treasure to your followers? Consider guest posting or swapping content with followers and referrals with whom you’ve built some rapport. The mere suggestion of a swap is a great way to break new ground and scratch the back of your acquaintances.
The more content you produce, the more likely you are to solidify and create new relationships. This might seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it.
The Next Level
Your followers and acquaintances online all have the potential to grow into something more, so it’s important to make sure your reactions are meaningful and genuine. Let your personality shine when you approach referrals. Let them know you mean business, but also that you’re a person. They’ll remember you and want to do business with you.
Also consider that good friends and referrals can lead to better friends and referrals. Once you’ve put your personality on display and established a network, the possibilities are endless.”
Megan Totka is the chief editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes in small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their businesses on the Web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.