As the founder and CEO of her own public relations firm in New York City, Danika Daly is an expert when it comes to marketing. So we asked her to share her perspective on tapping into the wide world of social media networking. Scroll on to see our mini photoshoot with Danika at Little Choc Apothecary and to read her expert tips and tricks.
Tell us: what are some of your favorite ways to meet new people on social media?
We are now living in a world where it is possible to do almost everything online—from finding style inspiration to ordering groceries—so it’s no wonder why we stay glued to our phones and computers. In addition to the convenience factor of social media, it has also become crucial for building relationships. Of course, let’s not discount face-to-face interaction because there is nothing better than that—interacting in person is the best way to build a real relationship, always. But, social media is such a great networking tool on those long days when you just don’t feel like going to a mixer after work, or late at night when you’re scrolling through Instagram.
In the first year of running my business, I lived in Miami. I traveled to New York for a couple months at a time for meetings and projects I was working on, but that first year, a lot of the build up of my company was through social media. I knew I had to connect with people in New York prior to making the leap and moving there full-time. At the time, Twitter was where the networking magic happened (and it’s still a great tool for that). So much so, that when I went to events, people would recognize me and excitedly announce me as my Twitter handle. “You’re @danikadalypr!” they would say, and I would yell their handle right back at them, making an instant connection.
Through social media, I’ve gained clients, built relationships with other entrepreneurs and influencers and made friends. I tend to interact on social media between work, when I’m eating breakfast, taking a snack break, while walking my dog, Rajah, or while winding down at the end of the day. Here are some tips for networking effectively on social media.
Engage and be authentic.
By liking, commenting and supporting people on their journeys, you become memorable to that person. Eventually, they start replying anytime you write something to them and will engage with your content, too. When communicating on social media, keep communication casual and authentic. Comment on the post itself. For instance, if you love someone’s outfit, let them know. If someone reached a milestone or is celebrating something great, congratulate them or send them birthday wishes. These little comments go a long way, especially because most people just hit “like.” Commenting makes you stand out.
Join groups and discussions.
Facebook and LinkedIn groups are a great resource for meeting people, getting advice and learning about opportunities. Take your interests into account and join relevant groups. As an entrepreneur, I have found many groups where entrepreneurs vent, ask for advice, celebrate successes and more. If you can’t find a specific group, create one! In doing so, you’ll become a mainstay in the group and more people with interact with you.
Network online at offline events.
Networking at events can be a bit daunting at times, especially if you’re by yourself. An easy icebreaker is to follow the event hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, and reply/comment to people using the hashtag saying you’d love to meet them. It gets the conversation started and makes face-to-face interactions much less frightening. Ensure you’re posting using the hashtag, too. Don’t be timid. Reach out to people online who are attending the same event—chances are good that they, too, are interested in networking.
Don’t limit your network.
This goes for any kind of networking. When connecting with people on social media, it’s important to not just contact someone for a specific reason. The best relationships come from actual connections versus an initial request. I follow brands, bloggers, entrepreneurs and people whom I admire and whose content I enjoy. Don’t think of networking as meeting people who can do something for you. Make genuine connections. People are more interesting than what they do for a living. Just because someone isn’t in your career field or in a field that benefits you, doesn’t mean the conversation should stop there. Learn more about people—you never know what inspirations or stories they will share.