Ah yes, the age old question.
Well, it’s hard to say. All this social media stuff has introduced what seems like a whole new way of finding and meeting people. But is it really all that different than traditional business development or marketing?
While the medium has changed, the basic premise behind networking is still the same as it’s always has been: fostering relationships with the people that you meet. No matter where you’re doing it, online or in person, you’re still trying to develop some kind of connection that would make the parties involved interested in continuing the conversation or arranging a future meeting. It’s much more complicated in practice, but in theory, it’s a basic premise.
It’s disappointing to reach out repeatedly to people and watch them ignore you. I’ve had that happen to me lately. It sucks, especially when it’s people who you respect and think highly of. But the worst thing you can do is to take that and let it deter you from making connections. Keep seeking people out – there are plenty of great folks who are ecstatic about chatting with you. Worse still, don’t let it affect how you treat people in your network. Continue to acknowledge when people are reaching out to you. Ask yourself, how would you respond to a phone call or an e-mail? This social media stuff shouldn’t be any different. Respond to any @ replies or Direct Messages you get on Twitter. If someone comments on your Facebook status, make a comment back on it and check out what’s going on with them. Thank people for visiting and writing on your blog. Get back to anyone who writes you a LinkedIn message.
Whole new world, same old principles. Look at that: you didn’t even have to learn new tricks – you knew ‘em all along!