The whole point of social media is to be social. If you are savvy about your social media use, it can be a great networking tool, helping you “meet” new people online, as well as providing a way for you to interact with others and maybe even forge new business relationships.

Promoting Others’ Stuff

Yes, social media is, in part, about promoting yourself. Whether you submit your blog posts to a social bookmarking site, or whether you put an image of your latest product on Pinterest, you want to let others know what you offer.

However, it can’t be just about promoting yourself. If you really want to engage in a community, and get to know others, you need to start promoting others’ social media posts as well. This means voting on what others post on bookmarking sites, as well as Liking others’ posts on Facebook and retweeting and repinning what others share on Twitter and Pinterest.

When you promote someone else’s submissions on social media you show yourself part of a community. On top of that, you can get to know them. If you repin someone else’s images on Pinterest, or if you retweet others’ information on Twitter, eventually others will notice. They’ll return the favor, or at least want to get to know you better.

As long as you aren’t doing it too much and coming across as a “stalker”, helping promote others’ stuff can be a good way to engage with others in your community, and even to find partners who want to work with you to better reach more audiences.

Promotional-Help Relationships

Another reason to vote for others, and to help them promote their stuff, is that you can actually build relationships with others and get help with your own promotion efforts. When you think about it, sometimes your social media post needs a little help. Submitting to a social media bookmarking site doesn’t help much unless you make the front page. You can really take off on Twitter or Facebook if someone you are friends with shares your information with his or her audience.

In order to reach a broader audience, you can form promotional-help relationships. These are relationships in which you form a tight-knit group to help each other. You vote for each other’s items, and you share them on platforms like Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. With the help of others to vote for your bookmarking submissions, it’s more likely that you will get to the front page, and more eyes will see you. Additionally, your audience expands as others share things with their groups.

Of course, this means that you have to be willing to share as well. If you except people in your promotional-help group to tweet about your latest sale, you need to be prepared to repin someone else’s newest product on Pinterest. These relationships are all about helping each other, and you need to do your share of helping, as well as receiving help.

Get social with your social media. Reach out to others who are trying to improve their situations online, and you can help each other promote, as well as build relationships that can last into the future.