adding friends and followers. When you try to find friends, they’re going to look at the page to see if they want to follow you. So you need to give them a reason to follow you first. Provide valuable information about the industry. Post pictures of your business or people enjoying your business. On YouTube, post videos of your business, customer experiences, and encourage customers to make their own. You can also ‘favorite’ other YouTube users’ videos and they will end up on your page. If you’re a small airport, posting cool aerobatic videos of the Patriots’ Jet Team is a possibility that would add value to those who ‘subscribe’ to your page. Also, share those videos on your other accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn.
Give them story ideas and leads that have nothing to do with your business.Share their links on your wall and/or comment on them. Wish them a Happy Birthday. Birthdays are big on Facebook. Always acknowledge them. Maybe even offer them a discount coupon for a birthday treat via Facebook.
Retweet their stories and comment on them! Reply to each and every message. Keep the conversation going. Get them to trust you. For example, one of my favorite Twitter followers is @heykim. She is an amazing example of how to do it right. She has thousands of followers. But she has even more friends. She friended thousands of people little by little and engaged with them, retweeting their tweets, commenting on their tweets, checking in on topics those folks had tweeted on days before. Now, she’s constantly in conversation with folks like Morgan Fairchild, Alyssa Milano and Kathy Ireland. Alyssa Milano even just shared a linked @heykim posted tonight about how Twitter has transformed over the last five years. Who would’ve thought? She’s not famous. The key is she knows how to engage. And she never misses a #FF (Follow Friday). On Friday’s many people share with their friends, their favorite people to follow, encouraging others to follow them as well.
It’s a cross between Facebook and Twitter. It’s great because you can create circles of certain people you want to target for different reasons. It makes it easier to post certain promotions to one group vs. another. The best way to engage with potential customers is by joining industry groups and starting group discussions.
Do not ask for help/favors from people until you’re friends or at least warm acquaintances with them. And the #1 way to become friends is to offer tons of help/favors without expecting anything in return. In the words of Michael Ellsberg, Forbes Contributor and Author of “Self-Educated Millionaires: The Seven Skills You’ll Never Learn in College, “Networking is a *long term* activity – it CANNOT be done for short-term results. Follow these basic concepts, and you’ll be ahead of 99.99% of the knuckleheads out there who are botching their networking attempts online!” Also, a great book to read is by Brian Solis, Principal at Altimeter Group, “Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web.”
7. STAY CURRENT: Get alerts sent to your phone when folks engage with you via your social networking sites – at least in the beginning – that way you respond quickly.