Everyone has an opinion on how to use social media to benefit you and your business. Sometimes it seems like the advice is conflicting, sometimes down right confusing. I’ll be the first to tell you, take in each little bit of information and try out different strategies. Use whatever works for you. If at any point that strategy brings stress/anxiety or frustration to your day, it may not be the right thing for you. I’m a big believer in adding value instead of going the other direction. That being said, there are a few tried and true methods to help motivate and help others, which will in turn put you in a better position for success.
Liking, Following & Connecting
First, you should connect with businesses and individuals on all networks you currently use. Make a list of who you would like to support and tackle a few each day as it may take some time to search and locate them. Understand that some professionals and businesses may not be on social media. For Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn company pages, it’s a simple click of a button. But when reaching out to an individual on LinkedIn, its best to customize your connection request. Mention where you know them from, why you would like to connect, etc.
Tag appropriate individuals and businesses in your posts. This allows your network to have access to them as well. This works really well with upcoming events and promotions. Your network just needs to click on their name and it will take them to their page/profile. Typically, you can tag someone by simply using the @ symbol before their name or business name. It will give your referral partners more exposure and motivate them to do the same for you.
Take the time to comment on businesses or individual’s posts. This will help them gain exposure. Even if it’s a “Thanks for sharing” comment, it helps. Especially if it’s an article a referral partner wrote, you should leave a comment of why you found it helpful/interesting/funny or whatever. Again, by commenting regularly on posts and articles, you motivate others to do the same for you, thus increasing your visibility.
This can be done in several ways on social media channels. You can share an article written by someone on LinkedIn with your thoughts included. You can share event information on Facebook or Google+. You can share information on a business’s products/specials/offers to your network. You can retweet a business or individual’s post on Twitter with comments. You can also share their profile or page with comments on why they should be followed or ‘liked’ on all channels. Again, by sharing their information it allows them to have access to your network which could turn into referrals. It also positions you as a resource and someone who values others successes.
Reviews & Recommendations
Probably the most powerful is the review, recommendation or testimonial. We all build relationships with referral partners, business associates and clients. By taking time and leaving a review on Facebook and Google, writing a recommendation on LinkedIn, you are both helping that individual and building your visibility and credibility. Even if you’ve never used this individual’s service, you can vouch for their professionalism and character. Be specific and genuine. By giving reviews and recommendations, the majority of those you help will in turn help you.
These are just some actions you can take to help others. Keep social media SOCIAL. It’s all about building relationships. The more you help others, in turn, the more others will want to help you. It’s science. (Couldn’t resist, ha)