We all know that in today’s digital age, anonymity has become somewhat of a crutch— a computer or smart-phone screen acts a figurative mask to shield you from actually engaging face-to-face. While this is comfortable and efficient, it’s still vital to build and maintain face-to-face relationships both personally and professionally, and there is a way to strategically leverage social media as a tool rather than an impediment in this process.
1) Engage and Network with Like-Minded or Career-Relevant Influencers in Unique and Personal Ways
It’s easy to reach out to someone on their birthday (Thanks for the reminder, Facebook!), or when they have been featured in a local article for their accomplishments, but what is more genuine is the tweet or comment that engages in a more unique, personal way—regardless of the closeness of your relationship at the time.
While Instagram and Facebook are great for brand awareness and targeting an audience, Twitter is a conversation-hub that can be utilized to cultivate credibility and trust.
For Example: A “Hey, @JohnDoe, have you read this book yet—I think you would like it,” is much more endearing than a “RT: “@JonDoe Recognized for his Awesomeness.” Great Job!”.
You’re not the first person trying to get the attention of a peer or influencer, but you could leave the best impression with genuine, thoughtful engagement. This creates rapport off-line as well as online, which will urge that person to engage with you face-to-face more freely and openly.
2) Post Relevant Content on Your Personal and Professional Channels
We are all inundated with e-mails, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts and Instagram’s on a daily basis, and the ‘ol swipe is both our best friend and our biggest enemy. It’s easy to scan and swipe across all platforms, but every now and then, something gains our attention— and a coveted ‘Like’ or Re-tweet.
These days, it’s not as important to post often, but to post quality— that goes for both Content and Imagery. A fuzzy, blurry, or pixelated image is essentially Social Media suicide, and posts should be informative and relevant to your followers: What do they want to hear/see/talk about?
Your posts are conversation starters at networking events (which you should be sure to attend!) and you want them to be reflective of who you are both personally and professionally (and lets face it, you’re great), so don’t sell yourself short with irrelevant content.
2) Don’t Go Overboard with Likes and RTs
This is an all-too-often-made mistake. While it’s nice to be encouraging and supportive of your peers and influencers, theres’s a fine line between nice and disingenuous. People are more excited by a like from a rare ‘liker’ than a serial ‘liker’, as the former person has probably taken the time to actually reflect on the post. Your reputation online translates to your reputation offline, and you want to make sure you stand out for being genuine, thoughtful and particular (but of course, not seemingly too cool for school).
On the other hand, you want to make sure that your activity is well-balanced, because we all know that come Spring-Cleaning time, a barely-active page is the first to be unfriended and unfollowed.
At Booje Media, we understand the nuances of the digital world, and that transitioning from social media to real-life relationships is a delicate business. Digital relationships are easy to navigate online with the mask of anonymity, but carry less weight face-to-face if you you don’t strategize. Its crucial to build trust and credibility that translates to real-life relationships, and following these three Tips is easy— so try it out (for your the sake of your awesomeness).