There is a treasure trove of information to be found about people who are connecting to you online — or want to connect to you online. You just need to take a moment to step back and do a little research. This research investment can reap new business, new partnerships and new ideas for you!

If you’re active on Twitter, you likely have people who follow your tweets. Everytime a new follower shows up, what do you do? If you click to look on their Twitter profile, that’s the start. Look over their profile — are they a consumer or a colleague or someone else, are they in your local area, what are their tweets about and who do they tweet with most often? (Is anyone you know mentioned or replied to in their tweet stream?)

Their profile likely also includes a website address. Go visit it. Find out more about this person (or entity). As you read and peruse, think of ways that you can work together. And, if you find the obvious connections that can begin the relationship, send them a private message on Twitter or email them from their website. Start the conversation and make the most of your social networking.

Same methodology goes for your business fan/follower page on Facebook. Click on new fan’s profile. See if you can tell anything about them from what elements of their public profile are accessible. Are they connected to any other fans or one of your friends? Google them if you have the time. See if you can find a connection with this fan as well to start the conversation.

It takes time, but the connections you collect online can turn into business if you put a little effort into it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to new fans, friends or followers. Everyone is a person behind their avatar. You can find out with a little research how you can develop a relationship to lead to more business.

How do you handle new contacts in social media?

Amy Hausman

Editor at Gooder Group
Amy is editor extraordinaire. If she’s not writing, proofing or editing, she’s traveling the world and taking photos around every corner.

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