What are you doing with all those digital or virtual relationships that you’ve built up over the months or years on social media? If you’re still asking yourself the question of how social media is going to make you money or help you reach more customers, chances are you’re not doing enough to make that happen. Not because you don’t want to – but because it takes a little practice to figure out just how social media can work and fit into your marketing plan.

In our tweet chat on the relationship between social media and PR, there was consensus that the two worked together, enhancing the strength of the other; social media with authentic relationships and PR with communicating a message and a story.

Yet we all know that social media creates a value beyond that, but we haven’t quite worked out the leverage formula. I’m going to start one here. Please feel free to add on and provide your tips in the comment area.

  1. Set marketing goals around your social media tools. First comes the goal, then comes the tool that helps you achieve it. Once you’ve gone through that process, you can look at the tool and see in what ways you can leverage that tool to reach your marketing goals. For example; one of my marketing goals is to be a resource of expertise for my clients. I primarily use LinkedIn for this objective. So, I make sure that I have some kind of relationship with my LinkedIn contacts. I want to know who they are, what they look like, what they are good at. I’d like to have a conversation with them over the phone, etc. I want to know who they are and how I can refer them.
  2. Conduct “referral meetings” online or on the phone. Social media will increase your sphere of influence – but not if you haven’t taken the extra step of getting to know the people you’re connected to. The easiest way to do this is daily. If you reach out to someone you don’t know and want to add them to your LinkedIn or Facebook account, then make sure you schedule a phone or live meeting if you can.
  3. Look for opportunities to work together. This is something that’s often overlooked. It’s one thing to talk about what each of you is looking for, but another to talk about what opportunities you can create together by merging your areas of expertise.

I’ve been putting this process to work over the last few months and it has yielding more opportunities that I can schedule in the short term.

How have YOU leveraged your social media relationships to create new opportunities?

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