Successful social media users understand that relationship building requires more than promoting their own original content and personal viewpoints. Liking and sharing the content of others is just as, if not more, important. Below are five actions to undertake when using social media to build relationships.
Provide source attribution on LinkedIn. Including the name or source on a piece of content that you share through an @NAME hyperlink provides notification to the source and properly attributes their contribution. When trying to find the correct name for an individual or organization, allow the LinkedIn search function to find data and be patient while options load. Click on the correct person or organization once it appears. The @ sign will be removed, a shaded name will remain and a hyperlink will appear when you post.
Ensure your Twitter handle is included on your LinkedIn profile. By incorporating your Twitter handle, your network will often take the additional step to follow you when connecting on LinkedIn. This will cross-pollinate your LinkedIn network connections as Twitter followers.
Provide source attribution on Twitter. Similar to the way in which you provide attribution on LinkedIn, similar credit should be given on Twitter by including the person or source's handle. When starting a Tweet with a person or organization's handle, be sure to include a "." before the handle. In doing so, you can ensure the tweet is publicly shared rather than simply with the individual or organization.
Comment through inquiry to drive engagement. Utilizing thoughtful questions rather than statements when commenting fosters communication and further exchange of ideas and insights. Remembering that social media is simply another means through which to communicate, demonstrating interest in the discussion and then positing a question for further consideration leads to increased engagement.
Promote the content of others on multiple channels. Provide multi-channel promotion for the key people with whom you are trying to build engagement and reputation. Your audience will appreciate and reward your efforts in helping them to elevate their voice. Through selfless actions such as cross-channel promotion, you develop an army of micro-influencers that help you build a stronger network, sound reputation and legitimate influence.
Through the creation of mutual value with your network and balancing the scale in favor of your audience, you will earn the right to be assigned a reputation as an influencer. Achieving success is much easier when you surround yourself with the right people.