Professional networking has been transformed with the introduction of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Now it’s possible to get to know a professional contact very well without ever meeting face-to-face. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t best practices that apply to social networks. Here are five rules for professional social networking success:
1. Know Your Platforms
2. Customize Everything
3. Ask for Something Specific
4. Take It Offline Whenever Possible
5. Say “Thank You”
It’s a simple step that many people miss. Show appreciation when someone does something nice for you online. Whether it’s responding to a few questions, retweeting a link to your blog post, or even connecting you with one of their friends — it’s always appropriate to express your gratitude. It’s especially important to follow-up after someone has provided advice. People like to feel helpful, so let them know if their advice was useful for you.
Continuously look for ways to give back to the people in your online networks. Don’t approach them only when you need a favor. Reach out to say hello or to contribute something you think will be valuable to them. Networking is a two-way street. Plus, in the end, it’s your reputation that counts.
Read about how to make successful social relationships via Mashable’s “5 Rules for Professional Social Networking Success” »