Relationships are everything! Every day, almost 40 new people send me the connection request on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter. Then usually, approximately same number of people triggers the button to un-follow me.
What I think is they’re apparently upset that I didn’t blindly reciprocate their social connection request, despite the fact that they’ve never even personally interacted with me and dropped me a “Hii” message. I don’t take too long to identify that they’re amateur marketing guys and obsessed with numbers game… but they’re doing it so wrong that they’re disregarding the foremost social media relationship etiquette, “You’ll have to be friends with others and win their trust”.
Social Marketing = Constant, Conscious Personal Interaction
Take a moment to think of the “people online you actually care about.” Usually, the important folks are those who have taken the time to personally interact with you or acknowledged you (recently). These are people you’re willing to help out and stand up for. When you’re under pressure or pressed for time, the people who haven’t interacted with you become second-class “nobodies” who are incredibly easy to ignore and forget. No matter how cool or famous they are.
Ashley Phillips highly recommends the concept of influencer marketing. Build relations not only with connections but also with Industry’s Top-Notch experts. Influencers hold power over their followers and thus, they can make your message viral to the extreme height. Here are 6 tips for cultivating authentic long-term, “sticky” personal connections – and maintaining them:
Utilize a personal tone and send a greeting message every time you follow someone.
Don’t just blindly add people without interacting with them – and don’t dare send Auto DMs or cookie-cutter messages. A quick and personalized friend request note that says “We met last week at the Social Media Meetup, enjoyed discussing design with you. Let’s keep in touch?” Or a @reply saying “you always find the hilarious side of mundane situations. It’s a pleasure to follow you! ” Or “Just checked out your Flickr photos. Amazing mountain shots!” is enough to make a strong, personal impression. Then most people will take a moment to check you out or take your request seriously.
Don’t forget to leave a comment on other’s blogs every time you stop by.
If you’re already wasting two minutes to check out a blog post, why not go all the way and take another 30 seconds to leave a quick comment? The practice is not time-consuming but it will let you turn from an anonymous guy to someone who supports them and as a good friend. I am an avid reader of SITE123 Blog and follow this post to attract more and more commenter’s.
This isn’t just altruism; it quickly builds up your own reputation & social karma card. (Tech tip: easy Comment plug-in for Firefox makes entering your name and email address quick and painless.)
Share, link to and talk about what other people have to mention.
Don’t be totally self-centered. Link out to what other people have to say about topics you’re interested in. Re-tweet content you feel is worth sharing or endorsing. Forgetting to do this is the online equivalent of going to a cocktail party and launching into an endless monologue about yourself.
All others who reach out to you expect a response. Mark a reply on all messages.
The deeper you get into the social web, the more “requests” will start to show up in your inbox and in DMs and @replies. People are usually reaching out to ask for something, says Ashley Phillips. Try to get back to everyone who sends you a heartfelt (non-copy-and-pasted) request… but don’t be afraid to say “no,” be very brief in your response, or propose payment if someone is asking you to embark on a non-trivial consulting project. If you accidentally ignore someone a couple of times, they’ll likely start to “forget about” you.
Never pitch someone without getting to know them.
An essential, but widely overlooked marketing principle is to give before you try and get. At the very least, before you pitch someone with a proposal that will benefit you. You need to take a few minutes and get to know (about) the person you’re asking. Don’t think of pitching / requests as a one-time hustle – think of it as building the recognition and trust from someone who can help you over the long-term. You never can guess when you might need their help again – so leave your first impression as unforgettable
Be grateful and explicitly thank people
When someone does something for you – like promotes your content or links to you – don’t forget to thank them! A little recognition and gratefulness create a powerful reinforcement for more positive action – and it goes a long way towards making sure that person doesn’t forget you.
It’s A Jungle Out There. Be Human.
People are blitzed each week with thousands of messages online, a large percentage of them are bogus & unsavory ones. For every genuine person who wants to connect, there are a dozen marketing hustlers on Twitter trying to blindly build up their numbers, or spammers dressed like hot chicks on Facebook… or wealthy Nigerian benefactors.
If you want to build a potent, responsive social network… The most important thing is to be social and shows that you’re a real human. Communicate, comment, and show concern and care for people – and pace yourself to keep doing it. It’s not easy, but it’s the only way to build real trust and long-term social capital!
What are your thoughts on winning people’s trust online? How about keeping relationships from evaporating once you’ve established them?
Dheeraj Sharma is a freelance writer and SEO consultant at SEO Vancouver Pros. He talks about content marketing, analytics and conversion growth