A social media wallflower learns to work the room

I've attended too many social gatherings over the years hoping that my networking efforts would eventually put good-paying freight on my trucks. People my age call it “working the room.” I could never understand folks who attended cocktail parties but didn't engage others. Social media is today's cocktail party. The day I began adding “friends” on Facebook was the day I thought I was on my way to getting involved. Fast-forward 12 months and I have a Facebook page that I look at less than once a month, 490 LinkedIn contacts I still don't know, and zero new business. I would have been better off printing brochures and cold calling. It seemed like such a waste of time.

Looking back, I realized that I was the guy at the party in the corner waiting for the world to come to him. I never worked the room. Converting LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and other relationships into business is a lot more complex than I anticipated. Here are a few things I'm going to try this year to improve my results.