Last month we gave you our list of Networking Don’ts. This month, we’re giving you our top 3 tips for ‘networking do’s’ to improve your online networking.

Start a group.

The beauty of taking your networking contacts online is the ability to engage in conversation from anywhere, at any time. You can start a group on several major social forums such as LinkedIn or Facebook and invite people in your network to join and contribute. It’s a great way to share ideas, plan in-person gatherings, and keep up with everyone’s projects.

Have a purpose.

Decide what it is you can accomplish from having online connections. Don’t just connect as a way to grow numbers and offer no benefit to others. Having a networking purpose helps to organize your connections by industry, region, or expertise so you can make your interactions more suitable to each person’s background.

As part of your networking purpose, consider sharing information in your feeds that will be useful to your contacts, connecting with more professionals in your target area, and seeking out others who have something that your business might need in the future.

Know the Social Media best practices.

Using social media for business purposes is much different from using it for personal reasons.

First, you never want your posts to sound anything less than positive. Trashing your competition or discuss negative topics is a no-no. Also, talking about things other than your business like politics, religion, or television shows is not professional. Know your audience and engage them in topics relevant as to why they should be interested in your business.

Also, make sure your profile is complete. Having an egg photo as your user picture on Twitter is a turnoff. So is ignoring your following. If customers comment or ask a question, make sure you are responding promptly. Being on social media means you want to be social. So like, share, and comment often.

Whether you’re a business owner or financial professional, the tools you need to get started are within reach. Contact me, or schedule a call, and I’ll be happy to discuss your marketing needs with you.