To build online relationships and community for your business you must do so with intention–this means you need to have a social media plan.

Many aspects of using social media are FREE! Yes, there is no cost to create your profile, no cost to post, tweet, G+, connect, follow, or friend.

So you jump in with enthusiasm and then what?

You post a few times, you tweet a little bit, like, comment or share occasionally.

Ta-Da! Now sit back and wait.

Let me tell you something, you will be waiting. In fact, you will be waiting for a very long time because that is not how online relationships are built.

Build Online Relationships

The traditional ‘hi, I’m here’ are just a very small beginning. Like most communication, it begins with a salutation, followed by the exchange of introductions.

Next, come the getting to know you questions and inquiries. What can you share? What do you bring to the table? No, this does not mean what to have to sell.

What can you say, share, or contribute bringing value to the conversation or to begin a conversation?

New to the community? Find your common ground. What interests do you share of relevance?

If you take nothing else away from this blog post, remember this key point to building online relationships:  LISTEN

When you hear, pay attention, are attentive, attend things online, concentrate on the relationship–all of this, let’s your fans and followers know you are listening.

Similar to in-person relationships, there will verbal, non-verbal and written communication. What is said is not always what was meant. Silence speaks volumes. You can’t believe everything you read. Don’t let the fancy jargon (social listening), this type of listening is done with your eyes, ears and a variety of online tools.

As you get more comfortable with social media you will come across a variety of tools which keep you in the know without having you sitting at your computer 24/7. Be mindful of notifications and mentions. Reply. Retweet. Share. Comment.

Building online relationships takes time. There is no all of a sudden, nor is there overnight success. Start working on these things and you will be off to the start of a beautiful online relationship.

If you’ve found this information to be helpful, please take the time to share on your favorite social media platform.