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articles > From the section: tips

Building your connections is more than a like, follow, circle, or +1

Susan Finch | January, 2014 |

Am I connecting to someone I want to share my contacts with?As we deepen our relationships through online communities such as Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, we can get caught up in the quick scroll through the newsfeeds with limited time and attention as to what is being posted by whom. We quickly jam through the "liking" of posts, +1-ing shares, posts and images, retweeting something from someone without even visiting the link just to add something to our timeline. That's not connecting.

Next, our online profile is your HANDSHAKE. If you have a profile on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter - don't forget to lose your newbie moniker by filling in ALL of the blanks. This includes a REAL headshot - HEAD - not your full body in some pose because in streams you are REALLY tiny next to your post. If it is YOU and not a company page or brand page - it needs to be YOU not your logo. How about the default or blank BANNERS on Google+, Twitter, Facebook? It reeks, "NOOB." - find something, a photo of a place you love, a quote, SOMETHING other than the default or blank or stock background images Twitter offers.

Onward - what is your criteria for connecting with people? Do they simply have to ask you and you say yes? Really? You realize this not only gives them access to shove stuff at you, links, promos, requests, invitations, but in the case of LinkedIn it allows them to be one step closer to your carefully cultivated connections. Did those connections know that you just open up to anyone that asks? Seems a bit loosy-goosey to me.

Let's start with the connect, the like, the follow, the circle. Think about what you are saying. Perhaps you friend EVERYONE and ANYONE on Facebook. My own policy is that Facebook is still the backyard BBQ. I have to trust you enough to invite you over. I may not do it often or want it to just be you and your family, but I'm comfortable inviting you as part of a group and can arry on a conversation with you and really listen to what you say.

Obviously in the case of LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram you are not saying, "Come stay with me and my family, we'll watch TV and have morning coffee." But you may be strongly implying, "I share your interests, your values and could potentially bring information of value to you." Or, if you are brutally honest, are you saying, "You have connections I want, you are popular, I want to be popular, I'll try to get you to connect with me through covert compliments, inquiries to spike interest and then I'll cram my ulterior motive down your throat and poach your connections."

Only you can answer that question above. Only you need to know the answer, but it will affect how you are perceived because people see through snowjobs quickly and will unfriend, disconnect, and even the dreaded and dramatic BLOCK you, and or REPORT you to community and group moderators BECAUSE IT PISSES PEOPLE OFF to be made a fool, exposed as gullible or tricked.

More than ever, the digital handshake is truly about an investment of a bit of time - reading, really listening, watching, sincerely commenting, passing along helpful info and links of interest. Trying to close a deal or connection from Ground Zero is passé. Sure, you'll have some short-term success in "acquiring." But you won't achieve the coveted retention or more coveted,REFERRAL from TRUST. Ah, trust, that's what it about - building trust. That takes time.

David Amerland talks about how to build Trust in Your Business. YOU are your business, even if you work for someone else. If you make a career move, you still bring you along, and with it your online and in-person reputation for building trust and relationships. 

You can read more and hear his podcast here:

He says, "The question of trust, these days, is at the very core of most discussions taking place regarding Banks, the world of business and government, across the globe. The opinion that's heard most frequently is that "the system is broken and now, needs fixing".

His above linked podcast is a little too short to get into the logic of a how a system can be "broken" so he overlooked this entirely and focused instead on what really needs to be done, which is the building of trust.

He continues, "Trust, in the offline world, is built by a number of components that are predicated upon our sense of identity and reputation. The equation holds true whether we are talking about brands or individuals. Before we trust someone we always need to have a clear sense of who they are and what they do and what others think about them. " Same holds true online. It's still one person building a relationship with another person, you just can't really shake their hand.

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Commpro, LLC has been around since before there was an internet. We started as a public relations and advertising firm and expanded into website design and hosting in 1995. In 1999 we began to develop and expand our CMS. 


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