DON’T ask someone “how they got big.” People with large social media followings get this question a lot, and it gets annoying. The question ends up sounding like, “I care the most about how many followers I have. You just met me, but give me your secret so I can get a big number!”
I’ll give you the answer right now, so you’re not even tempted to ask it: they produced quality content, posted consistently over a long period of time, and hustled relentlessly.
DO compliment someone’s body of work, especially if you’ve been following them for a long time. Choose something specific to comment on that shows you’ve been paying attention.
DON’T ask someone how much they got paid for a sponsored post. We’re all curious about the rates in this burgeoning field, but save that discussion for an appropriate forum. Also don’t ask them to “hook you up” with the brand. It comes off as opportunistic and ends up being a turnoff.
DO ask them behind-the-scenes questions or about their experience working on a campaign. You can also mention some of your projects or goals and things you’ve been doing to achieve them.
DON’T ask someone to follow you. You can give them your card or ask to follow them. Many people try to keep their following number low and for whatever reason, you may not make the cut for a follow back. Don’t take it personally.
DO take a great picture of people with whom you wish to connect. Make sure you get their @ so you can tag them later. Showing up in each other’s feeds helps your networks on many levels.
DON’T let your momentum stagnate. Within 24 hours of the event, send a DM to the people with whom you had a good connection, making a reference to the conversation you shared. Chances are, you both met a lot of people and this will make you stick out in each other’s minds.
DO continue to engage. Make an effort to like and comment on your new connections’ posts. Even big accounts notice their consistently engaged followers and appreciate the love, and having met you in person strengthens that bond.
Do you have any tips for in-person networking for a social media network?
1. Get business cards.
There's no sense in networking if you can't give people your contact info. Make it easy for them. Have a card or a sticker or something with your information on it that you can hand out as you meet people.
2. Go to instameets or events open to the public.
Follow people and brands you admire on Instagram. Look for opportunities to meet up. Hubs will often post this type of info. Also, get an Eventbrite account and pay attention to Facebook for events that are in your area that are open to the public. Choose events that match your interests, and go. Be friendly. Talk to people. Pass out those business cards. Post about the event on your social media channels. Be sure to use the hashtag so people looking back over the event photos see your pics / videos.
3. Don't be shy about your goals.
That's not to say that you should just demand invites from people. Nobody likes to feel used. Explain what you could do for them. Tell them you'd love to come and take pics and post them. Offer to help in some way with promoting the event. Somehow make it more give-and-take than just take.
4. Once you start scoring invites, go.
You know who people like to invite to events? Good guests! Be dependable. Don't be a no-show if something better comes along, cancel last minute, or arrive late. You want to make a reputation for yourself that if you say you are going to be someplace, you will be there. The people making guest lists for these events have goals they need to hit, and you dropping out is a quick way not to get invited again.
5. Be cool.
The social protocol in the insta-event culture is that if you're invited to an event, you should post about it. The fancier the event, the more you should post. If there's no open bar and you're not getting any swag, maybe this means an IG story or two. But the higher profile it is, the more your hosts are expecting. If you play along, you're more likely to be invited to another event.
Obviously, if you're being paid to post or provide a deliverable, this means keeping your quality high and being as quick as practicable with getting the content to your client. If they don't have to worry about chasing it down or explaining to their boss why they don't have it, they'll be much more apt to use you again.
Do you have any tips?
Blogging my path as a professional photojournalist / social media addict / influencer