Networking on social media is a crucial element of success. Once you get the basics of learning how to use Google+ and other social media platforms, you realize that you need to connect with people in a meaningful way. Enter networking!
Learning to network like a pro starts with using the good old social skills that you learned from mom. People enjoy talking with people who are polite, friendly, and helpful. As Thumper’s father said,“if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Translating these skills to your online social media world doesn’t have to be complicated. One pitfall to avoid is endless chatter online that isn’t leading to true networking for you. Being online can be a huge time suck for you if you aren’t careful. Building relationships is important but don’t let social interactions get in the way of work and a solid social network.
In a recent post by Seth Godin, he talks about the two kinds of hustle:
1. “There’s the hustle of always asking, of putting yourself out there, of looking for discounts, shortcuts and a faster way. This is the hustle of it it doesn’t hurt to ask, of what you don’t know won’t hurt you, of the ends justifying the means. This hustler propositions, pitches and works at all times to close a sale, right now.”
2. “Then there’s the hustle that’s actually quite difficult and effective. This is the hustle of being more generous than you need to be, of speaking truthfully even if it delays the ultimate goal in the short run, and most of all, the hustle of being prepared and of doing the work.”
If your networking is not working, stop hustling in people’s faces and lay the groundwork by giving in advance to build your network.
Now let’s dig into the details of the Google+ platform for your social networking!
First, set the stage for your networking by creating an interesting and solid social profile on Google+. You want to give people a rich resource so they can learn a about you, what you do, and what your goals are. Creating a winning Google+ profile is not the daunting task that it might seem to be and the time that it takes will pay off when your social following grows.
Second, say hello and jump into conversations! This may seem like the most common sense advice of all time but I remember being new on social platforms and being afraid to join conversations. It always seems like everyone knows each other and you’re the outsider. Maybe you felt that way at one time as well? If you don’t join the conversation, you will remain an outsider.
This could be the biggest networking tip on Google+. Engagement is everything on this platform.
Google+ conversations are very open to people hopping in to join. If you see a post that someone makes and you’re interested or have a questions, add it to the comments. Using a + or @ in front of their name will mention them so they get a notification and will see the comment. Be friendly and stay on the topic of the post and you’ll be ready to roll!
When you meet new people that you’re interested in connecting with circle them right away so you can find them later. You’d be surprised how hard it is to remember someone’s name that you talked to once a few days ago. Create a circle called “new Google+ friends” or something like this so you can easy find them again.
Wondering how to create a circle? Here’s a quick video that will help you out.
A tip from Mark Traphagen’s Maximize Social Business post Advanced Google Plus Strategy for Networking, “As you learn who on Google+ is most important for you, put those people in either the Notifications or All Posts circle. That way you’ll be more likely to see any of their content to which you can add a meaningful comment. And they’ll keep seeing your name connected with your expertise and helpfulness. After a while they are likely to circle you back, and even start engaging with your content and recommending you to others.”
Some specific ways to network on Google+ are:
1. Use ripples
You can find ripples on your posts that have +1 or shares on them. Ripples help you find people who shared your content or other popular content.
To view your ripples, go to the dropdown menu at the top right of the post. You can view this example post on Google+ here and check the ripples to see how they work.
This is a uniquely rich resource to connect with people who have +1’d your content or shared it. You can click on each of the post shares to comment on them and join these conversations.
2. Join communities
Communities are the place where people gather to have conversations about everything under the sun. From the left toolbar, you can access the communities tab and find communities to join as well as manage communities that you’ve joined and own.
Once you’re here, you’ll find a wealth of communities that cover everything from writing, science, social media, and space. Make sure that you read the guidelines for the community prior to posting – each community is run independently and has it’s own rule and moderators that enforce them. Keeping the communities free of spam and junk is crucial to the health and vitality of a community.
3. Attend Google+ Hangout on Air events
Every day you’ll find many Google+ Hangouts on Air (HOAs) hosted by interesting and fun people on Google+. It’s great watch HOAs and be a fly on the wall for conversations but there’s a whole lot of networking going on during the events on an event page. The event page is set up prior to Google+ HOAs and hosts the details of the event. This is a Google+ event page and you’ll see once the event is over, you can still see the conversation that took place before, during, and after the event.
Event etiquette includes saying hello once the event is getting ready to start so people see you’re there and it adds a comment under the video preview window. Once the HOA is live, it is broadcast on this event page and YouTube. You can ask questions during Hangouts and chat with other people that are watching. Make sure you circle your new friends! Once the Hangout is over, thank the hosts by +mentioning them and say good bye to the other people that attending. You can meet some really awesome, helpful people on Google+ event pages.
If you feel like your networking, is not working, I hope this article gives you some ideas to jump start your efforts! Please remember to be generous and help others – this will carry you far in your networking. Let’s discuss in the comments below – what works for you?