1. Good intentions count. Are you there to get as many followers or fans as possible? Is it all about growing your numbers? You might want to rethink your strategy. As Gary V says, “If your view of social media is so tunnel-visioned that all you care about are the number of fans or re-tweets or views you’re garnering, you’re missing the whole point…all the numbers prove is that you’ve made contacts, not connections.” You have to genuinely care about interacting with others if you want them to care about you and your business. People know when they’re being sold, and can smell bad intentions from far away, so be careful and make sure your intentions are straight.
2. Quality relationships are a two-way street. It’s pretty easy to forget this with social media—just look at the language. Followers, fans, tweets, status updates—it can easily be you on a soapbox, broadcasting messages to your people. To nurture your relationships you have to be willing to invest time not just to broaden your reach, but to deepen your connection with others. You’ll get a bigger return on your efforts if you find ways to reach out, invite conversation, offer personal stories, and ask relevant questions. And real connection counts: how about really going old-school and meet in person? Or pick up the phone? These days, being personal is actually surprising, which means there is great value in it.
“For me, it does really boil down to this: social media is simply a means to an end, and the end, i.e. nurturing quality relationships, is more important than the means. Relationships are the key to being successful in business, and getting personal with each other again will count more in the long run than the number of fans or followers you have,” adds Swanson.
Now over to you…what’s your take on using social media in business?