Social media is a fantastic tool to grow your network; it’s a place to inspire, be inspired and to attract your ideal customers. And it’s free!
To help answer the plethora of questions that I’m sure you have on how to build social relationships, I’ve invited Farah from Farah Networking to chat with me, and to share her tips and advice on how to build meaningful connections on social media.
Farah has over 21 years of corporate business experience and 10 years as a networking professional.
Through her career she’s seen first-hand that to succeed in business, you need to build connections. It’s NOT about selling. Farah has a human-centred approach to networking and quite literally is living proof that when you toss aside those notions that your social media posts have to be perfect, and embrace your authentic self, your followers will grow and so will those business enquiries.
Visibility, visibility, visibility
To enable people to get to know you better you must be visible. Whether that’s face-to-face or digitally you have to show up consistently. Showing up once and then disappearing is not going to get people to remember you. And you’ll never get any referrals either.
Changing your mindset
Making meaningful connections on social media is key to building strong foundations for your business. When I asked Farah, ‘how do you develop meaningful connections’, she said that it starts with a change in mindset – you shouldn’t think that you have to sell every time you experience a touch point with a potential customer. She says not to go to a networking event with the sole aim of selling your product or service. And it’s the same for when you post on social media. This mindset only brings disappointment.
Now more than ever we need to connect with people, to support them, to add value and to help. This is the reason for networking. Networking with this attitude is a process, you start by getting to know the people who you want in your network or community, in turn you allow them to get to know you by telling them things that they want to hear (forget about telling them things that YOU want them to hear) and just be you.
By being you, you will attract the right people, the ones who want to follow you and hear what you have to say. This method stops random connections which never go anywhere. The end result is a strong network of followers who uplift one another and show endless support and positivity.
‘The day you stop selling, is the day you make sales’
Does social media build relationships? Yes absolutely! The quote above is Farah’s and she uses it on one of her popular LinkedIn videos. This is what she means by this social media customer service phrase:
It’s about having conversations over selling every time. It pays to remember that now we are living in a time where everyone has access to the internet, if someone wants something, they can readily head online and purchase what they want there and then.
To stand out, to be remembered, and to be liked you must you remain visible, genuine and be consistent in your approach. This way you’ll naturally build meaningful connections – and it’s these connections that are priceless.
People buy off people, especially those they trust. And are in the forefront of their minds!
Start with one social media platform at a time
It’s easy to become overwhelmed if you take on too much at the start. And it’s good practice to nail one platform first before heading off to start posting on another.
If at first your posts appear to fall on deaf ears, have a look at the content you’re putting out and ask yourself, ‘is this going to resonate with my target audience?’ If it’s a no, rethink the content.
Farah started off on LinkedIn. At first, like so many other people, she was a bit nervous about putting herself out there, even to the point that she didn’t like having a profile picture.
Why do we punish ourselves so much when it comes to social media? It’s incredibly common for business owners to worry about what others will think about their posts, or to worry that their spelling isn’t great, and to hate putting their faces to anything.
But guess what, perfection doesn’t matter, nor does what people think. As long as you stay true to yourself and your values, then you can’t go wrong.
Fast forward to what Farah does now and it’s worlds apart. Long gone are the concerns about what others think and the unnecessary fears about her content, Farah is herself and consistently produces live videos that add value to her followers.
Her content resonates with her followers and as such they interact and start conversations. When they get to know Farah, like and trust her, they’ll want to do business with her – this is the process in action.
Social media is a bit like life really
Forget about our screens for just one moment. Let’s just think about the type of people we like to have around us in life generally. We love to be surrounding by people who act like our cheerleaders, and we love to give that support back. This can only be done when you are your genuine self.
Take this approach to social media and you become part of a group of likeminded people who enjoy learning about what people get up to behind the scenes – the people behind the brand.
Surround yourself with individuals who genuinely want to be around you, hear what you have to say and learn what you’re up to.
Don’t expect thousands of followers overnight
You’ve just got to trust this process, it’s not one that can be rushed. When you rush in and do everything possible to attract huge numbers of followers you can end up with a large proportion who will never interact with you – this is fatal as those who really do want to see your posts may never get to see them thanks to the social media algorithm robots!
As Farah says, ‘you can’t be everybody’s cup of coffee.’
Be that person who inspires and motivates. People will follow you for the right reasons.
Again, this is something that Farah would not have contemplated doing years ago. When an idea pops into Farah’s head she opens her phone and starts a live video.
These spur of the moment videos are full of thoughtful insights and she knows that the viewer will be focusing on her words and not the fact that she’s on her way home from the shops without a scrap of makeup on!
This style suits Farah very much as she’s a born storyteller.
Proof is in the pudding
Farah practises what she preaches, and this method has seen her reach these numbers: 81k followers on TikTok, 32k on Instagram, 11,000 on LinkedIn.
Farah’s three takeaway tips
- Trust your gut. You’re a consumer too, so think about the things that make you stop scrolling and apply that to your own business.
- Always be you. Don’t worry about making mistakes, and if you do laugh about it. You’re human and you have vulnerabilities just like the next person. Life isn’t perfect.
- Don’t think about what others are going to say. Remove yourself from thoughts like this and be true to who you are and your values.
Still wondering how can social media make meaningful connections? Good, I’m glad you realise its potential now. It’s exciting, isn’t it?
How to get in touch with Farah
If you’d like to learn how to generate enquiries from LinkedIn join my LinkedIn workshop: Starts 22 March 2023
My LinkedIn workshop will show you how to reach more customers, nurture your existing customers, grow your professional network, and strengthen your relationships into loyal, trusting ones.
The online course starts on Tuesday 29 March and for just one hour every day for four days your knowledge about this social media platform will grow immensely. To view the full itinerary click here. But be quick, this workshop is limited to only 10.
Check out my Special Days Of The Year Social Media Wall Planner to give your social media an injection of fun. Head over to my online shop, but be quick, there’s only a few left
Bye for now,