The Recipe for Building Your Social Network

From our social circles to professional networking to news, politics, and advocacy; social media is a hub of activity that has become part of our daily lives. Most users are on social media every day; many check multiple times each day.

There’s a pretty simple formula to building your social media network:

Presence + Relevancy + Conversation = Engaged Followers

Presence

It may seem obvious, but you can’t build a social network if you’re not, well, social. You have to be on the sites where your audience (and prospects) frequent. Simply having an account isn’t enough. Building a successful social media presence involves posting daily, even multiple times per day. Your followers are checking in at events, posting photos, and sharing thoughts with their friends. Stay engaged with them and encourage participation. That includes weekends.

Relevancy

More and more people get their news from social media. Posting organizational content that’s relevant to your work makes you a trusted source of information. What events do you have coming up? What programs are you currently running? What issues are you working on that are in the news? Relevant, engaging content is all around you. Post photos of your work in the field and community events, link to blog posts, share program updates, and build awareness of your cause.

Conversation

Avoid the social media equivalent of a dine-and-dash. After you post your content, stick around to see who’s responding. Check back during the day to reply to comments and post new content. Using a casual (but professional) tone will invite your followers into your online community, and encourage them to engage with your content. Participate in Throwback Thursday, and post photos from the early days when you were just starting out, using hashtag #tbt. Share trivia, run a contest, post opinion polls, and get to know your followers. Don’t shy away from negative feedback. Listen to what they say, post that you’ll private message them, and then make the conversation a one-on-one. That negative comment could teach you something and help you improve your community relations in the end.

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