Walk into an industry convention and what do you see? Scores of people mingling on the floor and bustling around booths trying to get themselves noticed, making contacts and connecting with potential new business associates.
On-stage and in other areas are people managing workshops and giving speeches to crowds to back up their statuses as fountains of knowledge.
You don’t have to be at a convention to make new business connections and acquaintances, though. A number of social media channels have the exact same structure as the system we’ve outlined above.
People, followers, influencers… your industry is buzzing across a number of social media networks, but how do you tap into it?
It’s simple. The more time you spend networking with people through social media the more you’ll get out of it for yourself and your business.
Here are our tips for getting the most out of your social media presence and maximising your brand’s potential reach online:
Google+ is a relatively new kid on the social media block. It’s growing at an alarming rate, though, and its affiliation with the whole Google brand makes it a channel that’s impossible to ignore.
Google+ allows you to provide people with a definitive background of yourself on a personal level, with business pages also available to keep people updated about your brand’s movements.
Google+’s ability to reach people through communities is an incredible feature. There are a huge range of communities for people to join that cover any and every topic.
Source these communities and take the time to ascertain their quality. Browse some posts and read the content being shared within the group. Is it related to your industry, or is the community poorly moderated and full of link spam?
Investigate the current members and add them to your business circles. Introduce yourself and say hi, but most of all, join the community and share your thoughts with it to make try and make an impact on those in and around your sector.
Create relevant content and share it with community members and encourage discussion. Better yet, incorporate your content creation strategy with your social campaign and submit your content on a consistent basis to keep in community members’ minds.
LinkedIn groups work in the same way as Google+ communities, except you’re more likely to come across some real industry influencers on the groups you decide to join.
LinkedIn has a lofty reputation of being the ‘business Facebook’, and with good reason. It’s unrivalled in its capacity for professionals to network with other like minds, connect, share their contact information and more.
But, like Google+’s communities, there are thousands of groups for people to join to discuss their industry and much more besides. There are also groups where people can share trade secrets, network with PR representatives and others.
Join these groups and share the benefits of your knowledge in your sector. Converse with potential business partners and – if you feel you have the time to maintain and moderate it – create your own group and invite others to participate.
The benefits of Twitter are well-known, but have you optimised your time with it enough to make it useful?
We’re talking influencers, and attracting their attention. Use a combination of tools such as Follower Wonk alongside advanced Twitter searches to locate and identify local influencers and people with the most clout in your industry.
Follow them and engage with them when they tweet – but don’t be pushy and reply to every single thing they post.
You want to cement your status as an important industry figure too, and should be tweeting content and opinions that reinforce your beliefs and thoughts about what’s currently happening in your area of expertise.
Bring influencers into the debate by tweeting them and asking for their thoughts on the matter at hand. The beauty of Twitter is that you can seamlessly bring others into the conversation and expand the debate as much or as little as you feel is necessary.
Facebook Fan Pages
When you create a Facebook fan page for your brand then you can use it in a similar way as you would a personal profile. That means that you can like other pages, communicate with people as your brand and more.
Befriend the right people with your fan page and use it to open doors in your industry. Comment on pages that offer similar services (though not direct rivals for obvious reasons) and keep your name fresh in the eye of potential fans and customers that could visit your site.
Sites in the guise of Reddit are better suited to an overall content marketing strategy, but mastering the social side of these sites can also provide you with a huge number of benefits.
Reddit, like LinkedIn’s groups and Google+’s communities, has thousands of subreddits that have grown to become well-moderated, specialised communities.
Search these sites to create a list of subreddits that can complement your content strategy, pique people’s interests and encourage people to visit your site.
But also remember that any strategy will have to complement your social side. Again, it works both ways and you’ll get out of Reddit what you put into it.
If you just use Reddit to submit links back to your site across a number of category pages then you’ll likely get banned by the community. However if all you do is socialise on Reddit without contributing content then you’ll find it hard for people to take notice of you.
Submit content, encourage discussions and join in on debates. Join pages relevant to your industry and where you feel you can make regular, active contributions on a level with current members.
Engage with these communities at large and give them a reason to visit your site, remember your brand and become loyal, long-term visitors.
If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing and how it can benefit your business then contact Webpresence today to speak to one of our expert advisors.