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Business woman working on computer against technology backgroundYour passion and expertise are a winning combination. Use them to amp up your social interactions.

There is no question that social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others have forever changed how we connect with each other — and how we market to consumers.

Thanks to these social platforms, the type of access we possess to consumers is unparalleled–and unimaginable just ten years ago.

It’s unfortunate that our industry is still not taking full advantage of these powerful tools. Those randomly posted property listings, office meeting pictures, or shots from the latest company outing are as meaningful and productive as handing someone a business card. You pushed information out to them, but haven’t truly engaged with them.

Take your business card; handing one out at a meeting or networking event doesn’t translate to future business. It simply conveys your contact information and title. If you want to do business, you’ll have to engage in future conversations, meetings, and presentations.

Like your business card, posting something on Facebook or LinkedIn doesn’t translate to future business. You must engage in a meaningful way.

How do you know you’ve hit that sweet spot and engaged with someone? They’ll participate with you in return – just like a face-to-face conversation. They’ll be more apt to work for you, list with you, and buy from you.

Three tips for meaningful interactions on social platforms:

1.      Post valuable and topical content that can help your audience. Each platform has a different audience and your content must change accordingly. Remember engagement comes in many forms: may be comments, likes, shares or forwards.

2.      Encourage and participate in conversations around relevant topics. Add value to the conversations you do join.

3.      Create a satisfying and engaging interaction; do it regularly and consistently. You want them looking forward to the next time you interact. If you can save them time or money and/or make them money as a result of your interaction, then you have really added value!

Jose Perez is the founder and president of PCMS Consulting