It might seem obvious, but social media is an absolute goldmine of opportunity to grow your network all over the world. But here’s the catch, you’ll get ignored faster than you can say ‘friend request’ if you do it the wrong way!

Keep reading to find out how you can grow your business through social media networking the right way…

(Spoiler, it’s not by cold messaging your aunt’s-neighbours-friend they met on holiday in 2004 and everyone they went to school with!)

Be present, stay active:

Be present, stay active; Seems like good solid advice for a healthy life, right? (Hello new slogan for an NHS healthy living campaign!) but it’s also great advice for social media.

You need to build a presence online if you have any hopes of building a thriving network on social media. This means showing up regularly, with relevant content, and providing value to the people already following your profiles.

Initially you might find you’re only really speaking to people you already know, but as your content begins to serve a purpose to your niche, and add value for your audience, you’ll find it becomes more and more refined to people with a genuine interest in your business, not just you as a person.

Invite but don’t spam:

Like we mentioned in the point above, social media needs to be social.

What makes things social? People.

We suggest starting to build your network by inviting people you already know to like, follow and engage with your profile, and then move on to inviting other people you know within your niche, whether that’s your customers, colleagues, suppliers, employees, and leads.

Be careful not to spam these people’s notifications with constant requests; you’ll need to learn to take no for an answer and stop wasting your time on those who have no interest in your product or service. Remember how annoying those incessant notifications were from your cousin Bob who just couldn’t get enough of Farmville? Don’t be like Bob.

Go for gold:

We’re talking gold standard content. Make sure people gain something by following your profile by ensuring your content is engaging. Encourage your community to comment, like and share your content, then let the algorithm do the work.

Make sure your content is conversational, too, remember, you’re not speaking ‘at’ people but with them. Opening up a conversation will create a sense of community and brand advocacy; accessibility is the name of the game with your content.

Utilise things like live-streaming, behind the scenes footage, polls, and thoughtful observations that spark conversation. Make sure any written content is carefully proofread and concise so it’s easy for anyone to read as they’re scrolling through their feed.

Contractions such as ‘don’t’ instead of do not, limiting the word ‘that’ and keeping sentences short are all quick wins to make your content easier to read and more conversational!

Evolve your content:

We could tell you how to engage with your audience till we are blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is, you know your audience best, so use that knowledge.

Check your insights to see what time of day you get the most engagement and what format of post gets the most response, then do more of what works.

Make sure you post regularly (at least a couple of times a week) and make sure you keep the conversation going. If people engage or respond, don’t leave them hanging!

Look at your competitors, what are they doing well? What can you take as inspiration to implement on your own profiles? (Key word: Inspiration – don’t just copy what they’ve done!)

It’s not all about you:

… Kind of.

What we mean is that your social media shouldn’t just be all of your own content! Make sure you sprinkle in some posts you’ve shared from other sources/profiles that are relevant to your business to add even more value.

It’s vital to engage outside of your profile too, so take time to comment on the content shared by others, whether other brands or your customers, to build relationships and a reputation in your community.

Remember: Social media is all about the give and take, just like real life. It’s a relationship, treat it like one!

Thank you to our guest Blogger Chantelle Davison – Choice Words By Chantelle