Social networking is a great way to build up your professional network and build your brand identity. The problem is that sometimes getting people to care about what you have to say is difficult. I was looking around the Twitter-verse and found people who have thousands and thousands of followers. It made me wonder how they manage to attract so many followers and keep them over time. So I asked several people who have cultivated large followings, hoping that they would share the keys to their success.
What I found out was that these people are, in general, people who seem to "get" that the internet doesn't exist in outer space. It's not a world apart; a seaerate place that is different than where we live. Instead, it is just an extension of our lives and a tool to accomplish certain things. It's pretty much the real world and the same rules of making friends and influencing others still apply.
I took all of the advice and narrowed it down to just the key ideas. There are 3 things that you can do offline that will help you get more followers online.
Network in real time - When you make real and lasting connections, you'll find people who want to know what you are saying online. Online conversations are great, but face-to-face conversations are where you can really make an impact. It's not enough to sit behind your screen and network, you have to get outside and actually interact with people.
Get people to like you - By showing them how wonderful you are. Find ways to make connections and help and support those people who are around you. Write posts about your friends, do interviews with others in your community. Look for events that you both have in common.
Get outside - You have to get outside and be in as many places as possible. The more places you go, the more people you will meet. All it takes is one or two really great connections to make your network strong.
Once you get followers, you need to find ways to keep them involved. This is where reciprocity comes in. Do things to thank the people who support you and they will be loyal followers.
What do you think about this advice? Are there other things you can think of that can help you connect with more people through social media? Please share your thoughts in the comments.