1. Get Involved in Multiple Social Networking Websites
I would suggest signing up to 2 or 3 social networking websites really.You can then use each of them to promote the others. Invite people from one networking platform to connect with you on the others.
2. Spend a Small Amount of Time Social Networking Each Day
I think this is quite important, you want to be a regular social networker, however you do not want to go overboard, making it seem like a chore when you next come to take part in social networking.
I would suggest 10-20 minutes each day on each of the social networking platforms you are signed up to, totalling roughly 1/2 – 1 hour per day.
3. Make your Profile Easily Accessible
When you sign up to social networking, ensure you setup a good profile and make sure all users can view this and add you to their contact list. Create a good picture to go on your profile, enabling people to put a face to them name. Include relevant contact information, if people cannot find this, they obviously will not contact you. Finally, let people know you are available to connect with.
4. Join Groups or Communites Related to your Field
I would say that joining group is a must for social networking. Once you have your profile setup, join as many groups as you can that interest you or relate to your field.
Use the suggested time each day to become an active member in these groups.
5. Do not Spam with your Sales Pitch
It is a rash judgement to make that if you post your companies sales pitch with a website link, everyone is going to purchase something from your website. If you believe your products/services are that good, post some background information about yourself and your company, let the users decide the rest.
6. Include a Link to your Website on Every Post
This is basically the same as setting up a signature. Create a piece of information that you follow every post you make with.
This is not seen as spam really as it mimics the format of having a signature in an email, infact this format may be seen as quite trusted and could attract people to click on your link.
7. Make Networking Work with your Website
If you are networking to send people to your website, why not do the reverse. On your website, include a way for people to view/connect to you on various social networking websites. This does not only give people a background check of yourself but also means you can connect with lots more people.
8. Invite People you know to Network with you
Many people may think that connecting with people you know from the past may not be beneficial, however, it will be. Connecting with college friends, previous work colleagues etc will give you many more contacts and they may be able to help/recommend you in the future.
9. Help Others
Try to get involved in giving feedback to people and general advice. These people remember your name better than someone who has just pitched their company to them. Spending some time doing this means you can get your company name posted using your signature while helping people at the same time, its a win win situation. (Ensure your advice is not derogatory in anyway)
10. Keep in Touch with Contacts you Already have
If you have a good contact list, let them know about yourself and show an interest in them. If you were introduced to someone for the first time, you wouldn’t just leave it at that introduction, you may go on to start a conversation or show an interest, this would eventually reciprocate, however it is not guaranteed.