I’m often asked how people can increase their Social Media connections, followers, likes, email list, stalkers, etc, etc.
The hopeful way of increasing your connections is to follow people and hope they follow back or accept your connection. However this isn’t always effective. Different people generally have different criteria for connections. For example, some people will connect to anyone on LinkedIn, when others will only connect (and allow you to see their connections) if they’ve done business with you. Yes, following and hoping people follow back is better than nothing, but there are better ways.
The most effective connections I see myself and clients gaining, are the ones where you meet someone in person.
When you speak to people at networking events, conversation about each others industry naturally come up. At events, people ask and give friendly business advice* which can help someone tremendously. What better time than to ask to the person asking you a business question if they’d like to be on your email list! Especially if the questions you’re answering pertain to them personally or professionally.
Building Your Email List
Usually when people have an email newsletter, they have a signup form on their website, but they never ask if someone wants to be on it when they’re in front of the person. When you ask them to be on your email list, make sure you mention (I’m assuming these are true):
- The benefit of them being on your list. Are you offering industry related advice that can help them? If you sell products, do you email product specials and promotions?
- You don’t spam.
- The frequency which you send emails.
- You don’t share the addresses with others.
- They can unsubscribe anytime.
If it isn’t for them for whatever reason: they get too many emails already, the frequency is too much, don’t take it personally! If they want to hear what you have to say, they’ll eventually sign up.
Twitter and Facebook? They’re handled a bit differently.
Twitter accounts are generally not protected. They can be, but when you join, your tweets are public for the world to see and search. So when you meet people in the offline world and think you’d generally like to keep in touch with them, tell them. Ask if they’re on Twitter. Pull out your phone and follow them. Hopefully, they’ll return the favor.
Phones have tons of different Twitter apps. The universal way to follow someone on Twitter is to open up a tweet window as if you’re going to tweet and precede their twitter handle with an “f” and a space. Don’t use the @ symbol. So to follow me, open your Tweet window and type: F VegasWill
Facebook is different.
On Facebook people have business Facebook pages and personal.
People would love it if you “liked” their Facebook page (since those are public and they don’t have to follow you back), but won’t always let you into the personal world of their private Facebook account. Though this isn’t always true, I’d recommend getting to know someone a bit and not putting them on the spot in person when asking about connecting on their personal Facebook.
LinkedIn is a bit of a an in-between. It’s not personal like Facebook, and not open like Twitter. Though the protective parts of LinkedIn are the connections. Do you want people seeing your connections? On one hand, they may not care about them. On the other hand they may be looking to contact your connections for potential business using you as a reference (even if you barely know them).
In conclusion, any way you’d like to connect with people online that you met in the offline world, just ask which Social Media platform they like and if they’re open to more connections. If they aren’t open to it, don’t take it personally or be discouraged. There are plenty of others you can connect with.
What do you think? Do you have criteria for different Social Media Platforms?
*A lawyer and a doctor are at a party. The lawyer overhears someone go up to the doctor and tells him that he’s had some shoulder pain. With a cocktail in hand, the doctor makes his recommendations to the party-goer for their shoulder problem. Then each went on their way. The lawyer introduces himself to the doctor and say that he overheard the conversation he just had. The doctor said that sometimes it’s a bother when people come up to him and ask him things out of the office. The lawyer tells the doctor that he would be perfectly within his rights to send people a bills for helping out in or out of the office. The doctor thanks the lawyer and they go on their way…
One week later the doctor gets a bill from the lawyer.