Members of the popular business network 4Networking may recognise the title of this article as being a “slight” play on the 4N slogan of Meet, Like, Know, Trust.
Guilty as charged! But I am so passionate about the importance of building relationships in business that I totally subscribe to the Meet, Like, Know, Trust philosophy in business networking. It has worked amazingly for me as a member of 4N and I cannot see how it can fail to for anyone else in business.
But it can sometimes go awry when it comes to online networking. Faced with tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, people often forget the rules and just use social media as an excuse to post blatant ads, spam people and sell.
If this is what you are using Twitter and the like for, I hate to have to tell you, but it won’t work. Sure you may get a couple of people click on your link, but ultimately this will not win you any favours in the online world. Just as ramming the hard sell to someone you meet in real life won’t.
The same principles apply to online networking as they do to offline for it to be effective. But have no doubt – massively effective it can indeed be. (I’m also passionate about the HUGE potential of social media for business by the way.) But only if you treat people online as you would (hopefully) offline.
Start a conversation, chat to people, get to know them, help and advise them, ask and answer questions, chew the fat. This is how people will find out if they like you. If they do, they will then choose to get to know you more. Next enter trust. Then BOOM!! – this is when you’ll start to reap the real and truly phenomenal benefits.
You’ll get oodles of support, people will share your posts with their network, your following will grow, people will go out of their way to help you. They’ll talk to their friends about you and recommend you. You won’t need to go out and find new business. It will find you.
We all know the best form of marketing is word of mouth right?
Well this is word of mouth on steroids! Job done.
If you’re thinking you need a social media strategy for your business. Don’t think too hard. Think Tweet – Like – Know – Trust and you won’t go far wrong. Jen Hinds of www.jennyhinds.com 01925 213825 / 07801 827783 Twitter: @Marketing_Jen