Dedicated to the first blogger I ever met face-to-face Paul Chaney. Thirteen years later I still count Paul as a friend and colleague.
Recently I participated in an interesting conversation on my friend Jason Montoya’s, Path Of The Freelancers Facebook Group page. Jason’s community questioned if you could develop online relationships that went beyond the click of a like.
Jason asked if I would offer some suggestions. Over the course of my social media adventures, beginning in 2004, I have built and nurtured many, many Real relationships which resulted in client projects, partnerships and friendships.
An example. I host a tweet chat, #FoodTVChat, that brings TV show chef contestants together with their audience. I’ve conducted chats with over 40 chefs from a range of networks and franchises from Fox Broadcasting/Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, to Food Networks’s Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped, All Star Academy. Every single chef was from a relationship formed on Twitter.
Following are my top 6 lessons learned.
6. Provide Value. Based on what is important to your community, provide value in what you post.
5.Be generous. Share the content of your community within the channel of the original post and in other social networks as well. Be sure to credit back to the person
4. “Talk” to people. Respond to posts through extending the conversation by providing your thoughts, insights, added information. This is the heart of what the pundits tossed around as ‘social conversation.’
3. Appreciation counts. Thank people when they share and mention you
2. “Love taking online offline.” Richard Binhammer. Take the conversation off of the public social stream into direct messaging. Not through a bot and not to pitch your services. As you begin to build that “real” relationship, a phone call and even a face-to face meeting is entirely appropriate and fun.
The #1 Lesson Learned: Online Kindness Creates Real Relationships
Building online relationships are different but similar to how you create offline relationships. You might enjoy this post I wrote about my friend Caryl, a people person, who I was sure would love LinkedIn. However, the woman who is a networking rock star felt awkward and shy in the digital world. I addressed the following of Caryl’s top four concerns in a post published 12/09.
- How do you engage and determine interest without physical or tonality cues?
- How do you jump into the conversation when you don’t know the people?
- How do you enter the conversation without being invited?
- How do you know when to continue the discussion when there is no feedback from the group?
It’s interesting to see that even as digital becomes more and more important to growing a brand and customer trust many people are still not sure how to cultivate real online relationships.
How do you build Real online relationships?
P.s. If you need help building real digital relationships or need a workshop let’s talk !
HT to CK Kerley for the Blogger Social photo. 100+ bloggers from all over the world met up in NYC to nurture real relations that were started online.