How to build online relationships into a valuable network

In the digital era we are operating in, there is no way around using social media to further your business, career and grow your network. But exactly how do you build genuine relationships online, that eventually turn into a meaningful connection? 


Using social media and other online platforms to find other professionals to connect with is more common than ever, and there's no shortage of users. Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users, Snapchat has 150 million, and Twitter has over 300 million active users each month. And we also know that each platform has its own benefits and strong points. 

It's not enough to know that you need to use the internet to create new relationships but also how to use each platform. 

If you're looking to make a name for yourself and build a strong network, here are five strategies to doing with the power of the internet. 

Respond to posts that matter to you. It shouldn't take much effort to form a quick response to a tweet you see, that causes a reaction within you. You're never too big or small to respond to anything or anyone. Bring an insightful perspective the conversations you see online, short responses that bring nothing to the conversation are pointless and won't get you noticed. Be clear, concise, and impactful. 

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Use their platform to connect. If someone you want to connect with has a blog, YouTube channel or a cool community, use that to forge a connection. Comment on their blogs posts, videos and podcast episodes, most content creators will always respond if they have time. Make sure that your comments are genuine, and you have something worth sharing with that person. Using their own work to start a conversation is always a good place to begin. 

Keep it professional. Social media has a way of making us more approachable, and people often take that to another level. Just because someone is friendly, they aren't your friend. Keep it professional and don't speak to someone you're trying to connect with as if they know you or owe you anything. 

Don't come on too strong. The last thing you want to do is turn someone off by trying to progress the relationship faster than it naturally is progressing. The first time a fellow industry person responds to you, don't try to go out for drinks or do a collaboration. Give things time to develop on their own, and the rest will come eventually. 

Solidify the relationship. Social media and blog comments can only take you so far, real connections happen offline. Phone conversations, meetups, and attending events are all ways you can make the online connection into an actual relationship. The comradery that you see online is just the tip of the iceberg of what a business and personal relationship can be. 


How to do use social media to build your network?