In my opinion the whole key to success in social networking is turning strangers into friends and friends into business partners and/or perhaps customers. I am tempted to go on a rant here but I will restrain myself. I am not the only one saying this so if this sounds redundant that's because it probably is but I feel it is worth repeating.
The problem is most of us don't want to take the time to build relationships. We would rather believe that somehow people clicking on our affiliate link by way of Google adwords or pay per click is the answer. That some company or automated system we pay money for will quickly build us an income by delivering hits to our website. But hits to our website or affiliate link in my opinion are nothing more than tire kickers at a car lot. People who are curious but not really serious.
Having tried all of these methods in the past and measuring it with the current success I am having on Face Book and recently Twitter I can say without hesitation that social networking will wipe the floor with any method out there when it comes to finding customers or people to be in business with you.
If you do the right things DAILY. If you have the right attitude.
The following is a list of things you should be doing daily:
1) Build Your Friend List
Like I said a lot of this is going to be redundant perhaps yet there are still people that can't seem to even get started doing this. If you have no friends or people you are following how can you possibly expect to go forward in the social networking arena. This is not the place to be quiet and lay back and wait for something to happen. Like my hockey coach used to say "get out there and make something happen boys"
2) Genuinely Make Friends with Your List
I am starting to see that it makes no sense to have tons of friends and not know very many of them at all. The more people I connect with and care about on whatever level the more the hits to my blog goes up. I didn't join twitter for a long time because I couldn't see the connection between listening to all the little things of people's lives and how that translated into business partners but now I do. Does that mean I sign up everyone to my program. Of course not. What it does mean is I suddenly have tons of people who know me and who may just help me in one way or another. Face Book and Twitter really is like a giant party.
3) Post Interesting Content
Even if you don't have a blog at this point (but you really should) you can still post good interesting content on your face book page. It might take a little searching around to find content you are excited about but as I have mentioned before it doesn't have to be your content if you don't write well or do videos. Most of us out there who write articles, do videos, or podcasts are thrilled that you want to use our content. Just give a mention back to our website and anything is fair game for you to use in most cases. There have been times when I have slowed up on this a bit and wondered why I wasn't getting any action to my blog. In a nutshell "he who doeth nothing getteth nowhere" is the slap in the teeth I needed.
4) Keep Chatting it UP
You may want to set a goal of getting to know 5 to 10 people a week or even more if you're aggressive in your efforts. Imagine where you will be friend wise down the road six months. Remember friends have friends and so on and so on..well you get it. Eventually someone stumbles onto you that is right for your product or business by way of your friends.
5) Stop Barfing Your Business at People
It doesn't seem to matter how many articles I write or how many times it gets said there are still people that can't seem to stop this idiotic approach. I have discovered there are many different forms of barfers. Chronic barfers, under the table barfers, sucker punch barfers, brain dead barfers, my business is the only business barfers, this is the me universe barfers..etc. In case you don't know what barfing is it is someone who can't talk about anything until they burp up their business opportunity at you. They haven't bothered to get to know you and they don't care who you are. You don't even have to ask them about it because they are just looking for an opening to puke at you at some point.
Here is the end of the matter.
IF I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS I WILL ASK YOU!
There that should settle it (probably won't even scratch the surface on this problem though)
Lastly don't get discouraged and start buying into all the crap floating around out there. Networking is not a sales business or a numbers game or even a million hits to your website.
Although it is important to do a certain number of tasks a day as I mentioned above it is still all about building a good reputation.
People need to find value by connecting with you. Do this and you are a brand people can trust.
Your sales and business partners will show up and you may not even know where or how.