Business used to be conducted at a conference table, on the golf course or over drinks. Though this is still commonplace, more and more business is being done online.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, approximately 70 percent of Americans use social media to share information and connect with others. It can be easy to get lost behind the screen of a computer or mobile technology. So, it's important to think about online etiquette and options for making your interactions personal.
Here are three tips for successfully connecting with people, both personally and professionally, online.
How often do you sign in to LinkedIn and find connection requests reading, 'I'd like to add you to my network"? I don't know about you, but unless I know the sender, I'm typically not apt to respond.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't reach out if there is a valid reason. If you aren't closely connected to someone but want to be part of their network, introduce yourself and share why you're reaching out. Personalize your message. It will be much better received.
Follow the 80/20 rule.
Are you familiar with the Pareto Principle? The Pareto Principle states that 20 percent of your customers/outreach/energy generates 80 percent of your results. It can be applied to various aspects of life and business.
As it relates to social media, the 80/20 rule provides a guideline for content posting. When you are utilizing social media professionally to promote your business, be cognizant of the frequency of your shares and their content. The rule-of-thumb states that 80 percent of your posts should be resources or external information while the remaining 20 percent of your posts are actually promoting your product, service and business.
Give credit where it's due.
Remember using MLA or APA format in school? Well, there are ways to properly cite your sources when sharing content online, too.
Be sure to tag individuals or organizations when using information found on their sites or related to them. Share a direct link to the original content. Retweet or share their posts so their original message and branding goes along with your additional content. Not only will this help authenticate your content, but it can help with engagement and relationship building as well.
Being online does not mean we have to give up the opportunity to form personal connections or create meaningful dialogue. Find ways to get personal and engage with others in the digital network.
Written by Leandra Nisbet, owner of Stingray Advisory Group LLC and co-owner of Gold Leaf Designs LLC and Brightwork Marine. Leandra has over 12 years of experience in leadership, sales & marketing, and graphic design. She assists businesses with creating strategies for growth and sustainability through: strategic planning, marketing concept development/implementation, risk management solutions and financial organization. She is actively involved in the community, sitting on several boards and committees.