9 Ways to Build Better Relationships

build better relationshipsBuilding relationships is what social media is all about. What used to be what can this person do for me or how do they fit into my life is now becoming what can they do for my network of friends and where do they fit in there.  This is not a new dynamic but building upon the face to face networking.  In many networking groups, only one representative from each industry was allowed. You were to get to know them and provide referrals to them.  That got you to be able to stay in the group. Reaching out to your network of people that you knew and referring business. No alternatives, no other competition. That has changed immensely in social media. Now we are building a network and circle of friends that are in the same industry as we are able to learn from each other and share a common interest.

As we look to start building or expanding upon our network/circle of friends many immediately start at trying to break into the network of industry leaders.  Following them and reading their blogs is a great way to build upon your knowledge but expecting that they are going to notice you and be your best buddy from your first retweet over the other 120,000 people that are following them is a bit of a stretch. Building relationships in social media is about getting to know people in a manner that is non intrusive and is beneficial to both your network and theirs.

9 Ways to Build Better Relationships

1. Be Where They Are.  Be where people you want to be a part of are.  If they are heavy tweeters, follow them, put them on your twitter lists, a group that you create, so that you can see what they are sharing and be sure that you really do see where they can fit into your network but also where you can fit into theirs.

2. Review Profiles.  People put certain information that they want the public to know on their profiles.  Whether it be a fan of a sports team, a blurb about their kids, their interests outside their industry, take a look at these and store them in your memory.

3. Read & Comment on Blog.  If they have a blog, read it.  If they refer to other articles on their posts, read them. Comment when you have something worthwhile and helpful to add. This does not have to be a novel so that your comment is bigger than others.  It is your thoughts and ideas but also it can be a question that others may have had.  Helpful.

4. Share their Information. Share their blog posts, not every, but the ones that you have learned from. People notice. The industry leaders may not notice at first but after a bit, they will notice that you are taking the time to share and will remember the next time they see your name.

5. Reach Out.  This is one where some people get a bit carried away and expect a full on conversation for 2 hours in 140 characters.  If you see that someone you want to build a relationship with is asking for help and you can provide it, then do so. If they are coming to your town/city and looking for places to stay, recommend.  This now puts you on their location map.

6. Be Unique/Different.  Know your strengths and see where you would be able to stand out. What do you do that is so different from everyone else? Give people reason to want to get to know you.

7. Meet Them. This one is a big one. If they are speaking at an event go. After the event, the crowd will swarm them and want to talk to them. This generally holds true for any speaker, whether an industry leader or not.  Sit back and wait. You will get your time. If you have done steps 1-4, they may not recognize your face from the profile photo but they very well may know your name. They will be very appreciative that you are there and that you waited for them.

8. Respect their Space/Time. Social media is 24-hours, the universe that never sleeps. This is a challenge as we are on the platforms when it fits best into our day. Knowing when the people you want to meet and add to your network are around is very important.  If you see that they have more activity during the morning hours, it would be best to reach out then when they are there and active.

9. Be Real. This is one that we we hear over and over again but we see it happening over and over. The reality is that we all speak a certain way and act a certain way and we cannot stray from that. Not everyone is going to like us or welcome us right away. Relationships take time and have to be a 2 way street. Be you and let people get to know you.

Social media has afforded us an opportunity to reach out and build relationships with people we have never met face to face.  We get to know them online and develop a friendship or business relationship that is due to interacting. It does not happen overnight and trying to push or be forceful is gong to get you ignored.  If come across as intrusive or creepy people will run the other way. We all have our boundaries and acceptance levels and the minute we feel uneasy we become uncomfortable and weary of the person. It is more than treating people the way that you like to be treated, treat them better.

We all want to be accepted and be a part of what we deem the in-crowd. The best part of trying to be a part of the cool kids, the in-crowd or those we admire, is the people we meet along the way and go together.

How are you building your network?  What makes you different and unique?  Sharing: I say cough-ee (coffee) and get way too excited when my friends have great news.  What about you?