We’ve gone through the process of Listening for opportunities and we have Imagined how we can provide solutions – now it’s time to Connect.

During the Imagine stage, we no doubt came up with several ideas for potential social intersections to be explored.  Now it’s time to connect.  Connecting is the tactical phase of social media engagement where we reach out to key people or even entire communities with our message.  We connect with people where they are, not where we think they should be. It’s a bonus if they are participating in communities or networks that we are already involved with, but that’s not always the way it works out. 

Brandon Sutton and Mikey at Vista Caballo

Sometimes we connect with our end-customer directly through channels such as Twitter and Facebook, while other times we may connect with an influential and trusted member of a community that can help us reach the people we need to reach. There may be a blogger that is passionate about the product or service that we provide, or there may be a photographer who is active on Flickr that posts photos on our subject matter frequently.

Wherever these opportunities exist, it’s up to us to take the first step.  Connecting involves action and requires us to go further than just posting our message over and over again.  When we connect authentically, we pave the way for the final step in the process, Inspire.