Littered with poking, silly games, and mountains of applications, you might think Facebook is just for kids. A year or two ago, you would have been right since majority of users were high school and college students. However, for the past six months, the group of users age 35-54 years has been experiencing explosive growth. In fact, these users posted an impressive 276% growth rate for the last half of 2008 – the equivalent of almost doubling every two months. So how can you capitalize on this? We have a few tips to make the most of social media, such as Facebook, for the purpose of relationship building.
Do your homework. Facebook is an environment that oversteps the boundaries between personal and business lives. It is a place where you can piece together your colleagues’ personality. That said, do some research! Find out your prospective business connection’s interests and preferences.
Make meaningful connections. Quality always beats quantity. Compare social media to a big party. You make connections because you are fun and interesting to interact with. If your connections ever become business colleagues, that is wonderful but it should never be your primary motive. Above all, you want to create meaningful relationships!
Use your toolset. You do not have to install dozens of fancy applications to make an impact. By default, your Facebook account has a number of basic tools you can use to help others get to know you. Write notes, post photos and links, and make an impression. You have to participate in social media for other users to interact with you and develop a connection.
Toss the agenda. Avoid trying to market yourself immediately. You want others to see you as a person. Just posting links to your blog and sending messages with clearly ulterior motives will alienate others irreversibly! Focus on being real and developing connections.
Maintain. This may seem like common sense but its often forgotten. Once you create a connection, you need to maintain it. That is, keep in touch even if lightly. Check up occasionally and see what is new. Read notes and statuses, exchange information, and help others out whenever possible.
If the overall message is not clear already, social media is about quality relationship building. Facebook is an endless supply of interesting people in both social and business aspects. If carefully cultivated, your relationships may develop into wonderful prospects for your future. Perhaps you know a guy who knows a guy? Use your connection and ask for an introduction! Maybe you have found the perfect business partner. Take a leap and make the most out of Facebook.