Maintaining a strong presence for your business on social media can play a big role in helping you network more effectively. Read these five tips to find out how.

These days, having an effective networking strategy requires more than shaking hands and exchanging business cards. Networking effectively on social media can connect you to valuable business connections, add to your customer base, and enhance the reputation of your company online. But this process can be complicated.

Simplify your efforts and add value to your business by utilizing these five tips to create a successful social media networking strategy.

1. Identify People in Your Network

There are around 2.5 billion people on social media. Your first task is to narrow this down into a manageable subset of individuals that you want to interact with.

To begin, research hashtags and utilize advanced search features based on your business niche and common interests. Use these results to create a list of people you would like to connect with. Reach out to two to three per day.

PRO TIP: Consider using a social media optimization tool that enables you to manage multiple social media accounts from a single integrated platform.

2. Be Personal

When reaching out to prospective connections, always be personalized in your approach. Address them by name and mention why you felt inclined to contact them.

When people can sense that you have taken a genuine interest in them, they will be more receptive to your outreach.

PRO TIP: A little flattery never hurts! If you think the person you are messaging publishes interesting content or has a great website, let that be known.

3. Offer Something of Value

When networking, you should always seek out mutually-beneficial relationships. In order to do this effectively, make it clear how you can deliver value to the other party (and that you are not simply acting in your own self-interest). This can include offering to make an introduction to one of your existing connections or sharing an article with them that they may find interesting and useful.

PRO TIP: Do not promote your products or services to strangers early in the communication process.

4. Always Keep it Professional

As social media becomes more central to the public’s impression of brands, every piece of content you publish — whether it be an article or a response to a Facebook review — affects your company’s reputation.

Ensure that your social media presence (and all of the content you produce) reflects positively on you and your company.

PRO TIP: Maintain professionalism on your personal social media profiles. You are still the face of your business, even when you’re not posting as your business.

5. Get Engaged

In order to get noticed and stay relevant, remaining active online is essential. This includes regularly posting interesting content on the platforms you use, liking and commenting on other people’s posts, and responding to questions and comments in a timely manner.

This can lead other users to seek you out as a networking partner. By establishing your voice online, you gain credibility over time.

PRO TIP: Engage in LinkedIn Groups based on topics related to your business. LinkedIn offers substantial advice on how to use Groups effectively, from identifying which to join to connecting with fellow members.

Readers should consult their own attorneys or other advisors regarding any financial or business strategies mentioned in this article. These materials are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of Santander Bank.

  Equal Housing Lender. Santander Bank, N.A. is a Member FDIC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A. ©2019 Santander Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Santander, Santander Bank, and the Flame Logo are trademarks of Banco Santander, S.A. or its subsidiaries in the United States or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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