Building Quality Connections
on Social Media
How to Make Your Content Stand Out
Successful virtual networking is now a top priority.
Read on for tips on how to make high-value connections and stand out online.
Networking can be awkward for everyone - yes, even for your Member Relations social butterflies, Cate and Scott! For that reason, we will offer basic networking tips every month to help you prepare for events, quell your anxieties, and learn to make the most of any networking opportunity - both in-person and online.
Remember, it's all about building community and making connections that inspire deeper conversations!
Networking on social media isn’t really a new concept to many of us. We keep our LinkedIn profiles up-to-date with our latest job roles and accomplishments, we post industry news on Twitter to position ourselves as experts in our fields, and we share our company’s updates on Facebook.
But times have changed, and what was "good enough" a few months ago isn’t going to cut it now. We all need to do more than click “Connect,” “Add Friend” or “Follow” and toss up a post every now and then to get real returns on our social media networking, especially now. And here’s the trick to building a quality social media network: the users who share highly valuable, interesting content with their networks will expand their reach and become the most appealing connections in the long run.
So to help you build a relationship based on trust with your network and expand your visibility despite chaotic times, we’ve rounded up a few tips for three social media platforms to help you get creative and stand out online.
- Go beyond the typical text, photo or video post – use LinkedIn’s “Write an Article” feature to demonstrate your expertise in your field and build a relationship based on value with your network. Check out Social Media Examiner’s article on how to write LinkedIn articles for guidance.
- Use hashtags strategically. Given that LinkedIn is a more professional social networking platform than most others out there, it’s best to keep your hashtags limited to 3-5, blocked out at the end of your post.
- And when choosing hashtags, choose keywords that are 1) relevant to the topic you’re posting about, and 2) a good mix of highly-focused and more general keywords. The purpose of hashtags is to place your post within categories of related content on the platform for other users to find. So before hitting publish, do a quick hashtag audit. Ask yourself: If I were searching this particular hashtag, would it make sense for me to see this content? Is it valuable? Does it add to the conversation?
- Join an industry-specific Facebook group to connect with professionals in your field. These groups can be very useful for keeping a pulse on developments in the industry, topics of concern for your clients, job openings, and professional development opportunities. Plus, they're great places to help you generate ideas for social media content.
- If you want your content to get a little more attention, post videos. The algorithm that Facebook uses to prioritize what content is shown in users’ newsfeeds favors video posts at the moment. Whether it’s an offhand Facebook Live or something a little more polished, your content is more likely to show up on someone’s feed than a simple text or photo post (but don’t do away with those entirely!). Plus, several video conferencing programs, such as Zoom, now offer integrations with social media accounts so that you can easily share a webinar or Q&A session you've hosted.
- Encourage people to get involved with your posts on Twitter by creating a poll. Polls are not only a fun way to engage with people, but they can also be valuable for providing insights on any industry-related questions you have.
- Remember that LinkedIn article we encouraged you to write earlier? Get the most mileage out of it by breaking up your other written content into several different tweets. By posting short excerpts of longer content to Twitter, you’re cross-promoting the content you’ve spent the most time perfecting and can introduce your audience to some of the most valuable stuff you have to say.
Other things to keep in mind
- Pay attention to what kind of content garners the most attention and engagement on each platform - what gets shared, commented on, and reacted to the most. This is key for understanding what kind of information is most valuable to your audience. Honing in on what your connections and followers truly care about is the best way to build a relationship based on trust and increase your visibility on social media.
- Be smart about who you ask to connect with and don’t spam people you don’t know. And in particular, avoid the cold pitch! No one likes those. Like networking in person, take the time to build a genuine connection first before going in for the pitch.
- And remember – social media is social. In the middle of all the great content you’re posting, don’t forget to interact with people who take the time to comment on or like your posts. Interacting on a person-to-person level will make you more memorable and further establish that trust-based relationship.
And there you have it!
By investing a little more time in the quality of your social media presence, you will attract valuable connections and stand out in the virtual crowd.
And if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a virtual happy hour for a little digital face-to-face time, be sure to check out our blog post "The Art of the Virtual Happy Hour", a list of quick tips to help you show up well to online meetups. Happy virtual networking!
Connect with us!
Join the conversation with business leaders across the Boulder region on any of these platforms: