1) Share and be open – what made facebook so great for most businesses (and not so great for others) is the fact that it requires openness in order to work. Companies who are hiding something, or are not who they say they are, cannot last long in the social net. But for those companies who embrace it, social media will open up tremendous opportunities.
2) It’s not about you – It’s all about connection. No longer is the social net filled with faceless chat-rooms. Real people are using social media to connect. Their pictures and status are on display, they have families and friends, some of whom you may know! Don’t contact anyone and say, “Hi, have you seen my new widget?”. Connect first, then talk about meetings and lunches and widgets. Find people of like mind in facebook groups and other networking sites. Be real and connect.
3) Be clear – Approaching someone in the social media world, is much like approaching someone in the real world. Be clear when introducing yourself. You wouldn’t go up to a stranger and start mumbling a bunch of stuff that your company does without making a connection first. Be clear on who you are and what you want, but make sure you are establishing a connection as best you can. Making a connection online is easier than in person for the most part because it is done electronically. But remember, there is a real person on the other end, and you don’t want to do away with common courtesy.
4) Be concise – keeping in spirit with the above statement about common courtesy, when you are looking to connect with someone online, keep it short. People have way too much going on to read your paragraph of information. Less is more with social networking. Be direct and to the point and you are more likely to receive a response. Also, if you don’t receive a response, don’t comment on it. People don’t have to respond to you.
5) Add value – Remember to add value. Just introducing yourself and being polite will not ultimately get you what you are looking for. So be sure to explain what you do and how it can benefit the other person. People want to know what’s in it for them. And if you don’t tell them, everyone could lose out. So be clear about what you do that adds value.