Social media is a busy world, especially for businesses. There are opportunities and traps at every turn. It’s exciting, scary, and overwhelming all at once. We create social media accounts that best fit our style of business and our customer’s preferences. In order to bring focus to our business and attract like-minded businesses and individuals, we create social circles.
We don’t think about our social circles like we used to. In our horror days (or growth years) of high school, the people in your social circle were incredibly important and relatively small. Often times, we were extremely conscious of our decisions on who we could, should, and shouldn’t associate with.
As we grew older, went to college, worked hard at our careers and life pursuits, the old social circles disappeared. However, new ones emerged. New co-workers, family members, friends, and partners began to create a new social circles.
But, do we think about social circles like we used to?
Before it was physical; you met people in person, shook their hand and said hello. That will never go away in the business world. However, now we’ve adopted the digital.
I started my business in 2006 and there was no social media. You could email and have websites, but you still had to attend networking meetings to get emails. There was no other way.
Now, with social media, we have more ways to connect with others than ever before. We like people on Facebook, follow others on Twitter, and connect with business professionals on LinkedIn. We share content and ideas faster than ever before. We create digital social circles, circles that can be separate from our personal lives.
Did you know we have more social media connections than real life connections? Cornell does.
How we use these connections in our social circles is important when trying to improve our business. If you treat your social media relationships like real life relationships, you will continue to see your social circles and business expand.
How do we do that?
It takes work, but here are some ideas on how to do it:
Find Common Interest
This is somewhere between obvious and dating advice, but it still rings true. In business, we can be guilty at times of trying to get everyone to like us and our company, but we need to stay true to our people. These people share our business values and goals, and most equally as important, our product or service helps them.
Make sure to make it clear on your social media accounts what your company is about, what your values are, and what you want others to do to be involved. A long-term customer is a long-term friendship worth having.
Meeting new people takes effort and is hard work sometimes. You need to be consistent and make the effort. Setting goals on meeting new people can open up a wide world of connections. If you took part in my book club, you may remember reading How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Attending workshops, classes, even participating in online discussion boards can expand your social influence. For social media, create your own discussion board and ask questions to your followers. You would be surprised where a conversation can lead.
On social media, businesses are often promoting their products and sharing content relevant to their industry. This is great, but speaking positively and building rapport with other businesses, even businesses not in your industry, can go a long way.
Making social media fun, light, and positive can attract customers and businesses alike to your social circle and create a digital safe haven for your business.
We may not think about social circles like we used to, but they will never go away. They will keep changing, evolving over time, and when they do, your business can change with them. -JG