One of the big frustrations of social networking is simply finding ways to develop your networks. The whole idea of this to make connections, right? We want to build our personal and company brands. We want people to know we are out there, that we exist and that we do good work, but how do you get there?
- For Twitter, I was stuck around 1950 followers. I decided I wanted to be at 2000 at the end of the week.
- For LinkedIn I was around 345 connections. I decided I wanted to be at 375 by the end of the week.
What did I do?
I started following more people on Twitter. If you follow people, they follow you back and sometimes their followers find you too. It’s hard to know exactly how this works, but it’s clear that if you make an effort to follow others, you will see returns. I didn’t follow people just for numbers, they still had to interest me at some level, but I looked for people with over 2000 followers. One great place to find good people to follow is: Wefollow.com
They organize people you may want to follow by keywords and it makes it easy to find new people who interest you. I followed a bunch, and guess what? By Friday, I had reached my goal and passed it. As of today, I had 2006 followers.
On LinkedIn, I started looking for people I know that I wasn’t connected to. Simple as that. I also checked the people my connections were connected to. You can often find people you know that way. In the future, as I meet new people at tradeshows, through interviews and other professional encounters, both real life and virtual, I plan to invite them right away. This way I won’t forget, and I’ll build my network at the same time. By today I had 379 connections and I hope to get to 400 by the end of the month.
The fact is networking takes real work and if you want to build your networks, you need to put in the effort and reach out. I met both my goals in a few days, and it only took about 15 minutes of my time each day to do it. Set aside some time each day or one time a week and build your network. You will see results and with some luck, it will pay dividends down the road.