7 Days of Boss Moves, Day Three: Maximize Your Social Networks

Get beyond the business-card exchange toward quality connections

For seven days at BlackEnterprise.com, we offer seven steps to refreshing and recharging your network — weather you’re an introvert or extrovert — so you’ll attract the right people and start building long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Building a community of people who support you does takes time, but there are strategic ways you can get started expanding your professional network today!

BOSS MOVE, DAY THREE: Maximize your social networks.

In 2012, I still hear people say, “I don’t want to use social media.” Well, get prepared to be left behind. In today’s technology-driven society, social networks—with more than 900 million users—are the perfect platform to promote what you do to an active audience. Also, if you are an introvert, it’s the ideal place to get the networking ball rolling by starting a conversation online and then talk offline later when you feel comfortable. So get in the game and activate accounts that will help enhance and market your brand.

If you’re already on social media, evaluate your friends and followers lists and make adjustments if needed. Do you have 800 friends on Facebook or 600 followers on Twitter? How many of them do you actually know? How many of them know what you do?

ACTION: Using social networks is about reciprocation. Start by following some key people in your industry. Retweet an article, comment on a post, or feature them on your blog. This gets the communication rolling and you find a shared interest in which to base a new relationship. Also, utilize list features on Twitter and Facebook so you can better organize how you’ll connect with people via social media.

BOSS MOVE, DAY ONE: Develop a Networking Database

BOSS MOVE, DAY TWO: Cultivate Your Current Relationships

BOSS MOVE, DAY FOUR: Put Your Elevator Pitch Into Action

BOSS MOVE, DAY FIVE: Put Your Networking Skills to the Test

BOSS MOVE, DAY SIX: Perfect the Art of the Follow-Up

BOSS MOVE, DAY SEVEN: Take Time to Rest and Recharge

Cameka Smith is a speaker, educator, social entrepreneur and founder of The BOSS Network, a community of career and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online and via event-based networking. In addition, Smith provides resources for women entrepreneurs and professionals through workshops and speaking engagements. She is also a mentor and program facilitator for Project BOSS, which matches professionals with youth.