Is it harder to develop relationships online than offline? Yes it is.
When you meet someone in person, you can look into their eyes and talk to them. You can really get a sense of the person. When you meet someone online, you are limited to seeing just what they have posted online. So, if you want to develop relationships online, then you need to do something more.
I have seen many posts lately on Facebook indicating that people are tired of the superficial nature of communication on social media. People are looking for opportunities to connect personally with people.
In my own business, I spend much of the day talking to people over the phone. I understand the value of having a personal conversation to really get to know someone and what they are struggling with. And that is the basis for understanding how you can help.
Here are a few quick tips to develop personal relationships online:
1) Develop relationships one at a time
One of the most effective ways to communicate with people on Facebook and other social media sites is to send them a private message. Keep your messages short and end with a question. I get too many messages from people who just spew details about their business in the first message.
Keep your messages brief and focus on making a connection. When you ask a question, it starts a dialogue. You want to have a series of short messages back and forth. This allows you to develop trust and rapport.
2) Have a system for contacting people
You need a simple system that will help you keep track of who to contact and who you have contacted.
Make a top ten list of people to contact and get started.
Add to your list over time.
Make a note after you have made contact.
Depending on the results, follow up in 60 to 90 days.
3) Move conversations offline over the phone
You can only accomplish so much online.
At a certain point, it makes sense to take the conversation offline. Suggest that you talk by phone. This is a great way to develop the relationship and accomplish more.
Begin the process of making personal contact with your friends and followers.
Move beyond the superficial nature of online conversations.
Step into the role of taking an interest in people and learning how to best help them.