As you happily network on sites like FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and oh the list goes on and on…What would you do if I told you that you only had the next twenty-four hours and it would all go away. Would you do anything different? Would you work harder to make those FaceBook friends actually connect up with you in ways that you have control over, such as your email list?
Would you actually try to identify who you were following and who was following you on Twitter in order to make true connections?
The answer to these questions may not be the same for everyone, but the underlying truth is that there is value in the contacts that you have made on the social media sites that you spend time on.
I remember as a child going to work with my grandmother and there was this gigantic wheel on her desk. I used to spin it around and around, but really I never knew the value of that wheel.
In times past we coveted every business contact that we made. Storing away the business card and keeping it on hand for future contact.
With the online world that business card has really disappeared, so what do you replace it with. Well, in most cases it is an email list, but here are five different ways to start collecting connections in a meaningful way.
Have them as a customer. Yes, this is the most obvious, once you have sold someone something there is usually an automatic inclusion into your stream of messages, usually through an auto responder.
Invite them to join your newsletter. Again, this is a simple way to insure that you have contacts in your business Rolodex instead of a friend list.
Better yet, invite them to your party to comment and interact on your blog, making it easy to remind them to come back often.
Connect with them through an instant messaging channel, my favorite has always been Skype simply because it offers way more than just instant messaging, and it has international appeal.
Connect on several platforms; in the case that one disappears tomorrow you have them connected up with you on other web sites. Giving you more time to gain the trust that it takes for someone to make the leap into a closer connection.
Sometimes we forget that even though we don’t want to be selling our business with every status update, we still need to find ways to engage our followers and bring them into our inner circle.
Think of it as finding acquaintances that you eventually invite into your close circle of friends. There is an initial invitation that takes place. In this case maybe it is the invitation to a BBQ, or the inclusion into holiday celebrations. If it works out there are more invitations. In any case, there always comes a point when the events you partake in together change into something far more personal.
That is all it means to invite someone from a social networking site into your closer business communication circle. I have given you five ways to accomplish bringing someone into your sphere of influence. Just always keep in mind that if all your contacts from the online world disappeared tomorrow that you would, in essence, be unaffected.
You would still have the contacts.
You would still be engaged in conversations with those contacts.
Most importantly, you would still be conducting business with those contacts.