11 Ways to Build Social Business Relationships

As with all relationships, social connections require nurturing to develop mutual rapport and the following basic relationship concepts apply:

● You first need to decide if it is worth building a relationship.

● The person or organization has to be aware that you exist.

● They need enough information to understand you.

● They have to be curious about you and what you do.

● Both parties should provide meaningful value and be relevant to one another.

● There needs to be something compelling and engaging to develop the willingness to spend time to see where the relationship can go - make it fun and interesting enough to do so.

Once you have discovered a prospective connection, you must then begin the relationship building process. Below is a pragmatic approach to the science of activating social relationships:

1. Follow people and their organizations on LinkedIn.

2. Connect by providing value and demonstrating interest – personal relevance is important.

3. Expand to other channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

4. Couple different types of media in the channels such as the use of imagery and video.

5. Communicate and message with some frequency – the general rule is that it will take 5+ interactions before they know you.

6. Comment on blog articles, Twitter feeds and other media. Show awareness and interest.

7. Engage back and forth to evolve communication into a conversation.

8. Share content with your network to assist both parties expand and grow their influence.

9. Give back to people that follow you; for example, share a white paper or provide a Meetup invitation for a topic of interest.

10. Promote your connections. Share their content or endorse people you respect on LinkedIn.

11. Convert to offline behaviors and do something together. Go to lunch or set up time to meet at an industry event such as a conference or Meetup.

Take Aways

● Developing one’s social identity requires concerted effort and a focus on interpersonal skills.

● Authenticity and transparency are key to developing your personal brand.

●Intent counts more than technique, so be yourself and appreciate the journey. We are all learning.