Five Ways To Increase Your Social Network

This weekend, my dad forwarded me an e-mail entitled “How Would You Like Two Hundred Facebook Fans?”  As I read the title, I shook my head and smiled.  I love my dad but despite how many times I try to remind him it’s not about the numbers, he just doesn’t “get” what I do.

I’m currently reading Mari Smith’s new book The New Relationship Marketing.  I started it yesterday and I’m already about half way done.  I must say that I love this book, so far.  I love the way Mari outlines all her tips clearly, concisely and with the same level of authenticity that she so enthusiastically preaches.  While she says it’s not about numbers, her numbers do indicate that people care about what she has to say and they promote her wisdom – through tweets and posts and +1’s.  She also outlines guidelines on how to build a loyal community.  When I read this, it made so much sense to me.  It was like the line from the movie: If you build it they will come.

While it is critical to know the type of individuals you want in your target audience, throughout your whole social media foray, you should keep a few key points in mind when trying to grow your network:

  1. Be transparent  – People want to know who they’re listening to and doing business with.
  2. Build genuine relationships with your customers, followers and fans without an agenda.
  3. Provide quality content – If you share good quality content, you will get it in return.
  4. Be authentic about who you are and what you do.
  5. Be helpful wherever and whenever you can.

I believe that if you are able to do these five things on a consistent basis, you will naturally fill your network with people who will come to respect you and your opinion.  Trust in the law of reciprocity: While you may not always get something back from the person you help, if you are genuine, caring, consistent and provide something of value to your social network without an agenda, people will naturally flock to you and you will be rewarded in return, without needing to pay for it.

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