In my previous post I was recalling some important lessons I’ve learned at school over the past year. Something that came up as an offshoot to two of the three lessons was networking. I like to think I’ve taken a different approach to networking online. You won’t be reading a post on how to find jobs or add more followers. Here are the 3 top lessons I’ve learned in the 5+ months I’ve been on twitter, which have in turn helped with my networking:

  1. Be real – Specifically, don’t be fake. Have natural conversations with people as they happen. I’ve seen people online who are so blatantly sucking up, that if I was the one on the other end, I’d unfollow them SO FAST. Okay maybe I wouldn’t, but those people would stick in my mind as ones I’d like to steer clear of. Another part of being real is having emotions. It’s okay to get angry or upset and tweet about it. It’s good to vent a little, or disagree with someone now and again.
  2. Be social – Like I said, it’s important to have natural conversations with people. twitter isn’t about broadcasting, it’s about conversing. If you find yourself not having anything to say to people, then I’m guessing your following the wrong people. Also, you don’t have to have epic conversations (that’s what email, msn, etc. is for). Just comment on a few points each day with an @ reply and you’re getting yourself out there pretty easily.
  3. Be patient – Social media is all about building relationships. Companies use it to connect with customers/clients with the hope of that interaction leading to the person purchasing their service/product. The same can be applied to people connecting with influencers (aka pretty much anyone who knows anyone). It’s important to put the last two steps into practice (recap: be real, be patient). In time, if you’ve shown that you know what you’re talking about, or that you’re an actual person with emotion, they’ll think of you when they hear about a position up for grabs. The patience comes in because it may take a while for this to happen.

If you follow these three suggestions, I’m sure the networking will come a lot easier – I cant promise any results though. Is networking measurable? How do you know who you’re influencing? The safe bet is to be nice to everyone… or at the very least, polite because you never know who might be influential down the road and you don’t want that coming back to bite you.

Do you have any rules or lessons you’ve learned since joining twitter? Or something that will help people like me looking to network without being fake?