Two of the main goals of your social media strategy should be to establish visibility and credibility with your audience. Without these elements you are just cold calling in the real world. Online it’s even worse, you are a dreaded spammer!

I recommend that in your online social media interactions you employ the “indirect approach”, which is the essence of viral marketing. That is, provide information of real value, in order to establish a reputation for honest, knowledgeable advice in your areas of interest. The result is that your online subscribers, connections, followers and/or friends tell their networks about your services and products. I often ask audiences, “who can sell you better, you or someone else?” The correct answer of course is “someone else” because they can say things about you should never say about yourself! Online visibility (V) and credibility(C) can produce online profitability (P).

It is important to note two things about online VCP:
1. It may take considerable time and energy. I’m referring to both the time it takes to maintain a social media presence, and the span of time to develop the level of confidence which results in closed business. Often far more time than real world networking. Don’t force it.
2. You should not rely on social media exclusively. As I have mentioned in previous posts, there is no substitute for personal interaction. Peer to peer recommendations are highly valued.

In your online social media endeavors resist the “up the guts with bags of smoke” mentality, and instead adopt a philosophy of “givers’ gain”. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results.