Have you ever been to a networking event where you register your name, put your name card in the “name cards bowl” and then just leave without attending the event?

Sounds absurd, doesn’t it?

Why would anyone go to a networking event just to put their name card without making an effort to meet the people at the event?

Funny as this sounds, this is what most individuals are doing on social media, especially LinkedIn.

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After overcoming the mental hurdle of putting out content consistently, they wonder why their posts (which they have been posting regularly) don’t get the same amount of engagement as others do – even when sometimes their posts are of “higher quality” i.e. more informative.

Even worse, the people who do engage, are people from their own industry and inner circle – which means the intended audience never gets to see the content you put out. For instance,

  • Speakers / Trainers/ Coaches engaging with Speakers / Trainers / Coaches’ posts
  • Insurance agents engaging with other agents’ posts
  • Colleagues engaging with colleagues

There’s nothing wrong with the above, if you don’t really have an end goal in mind. But if your intention is to grow your personal brand and attract more opportunities, you have change your strategy.

The reason you don’t see much traction despite putting out content regularly is because of a serious mistake you might be making – similar to the example I mentioned above.

I call this the

Post and Ghost mistake

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Simply showing face by putting out content isn’t enough for you to build your personal brand. If you really want to grow on social media and see some real results, you have to engage with other people’s posts as well.

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However, most people (especially those who are quite new to social media) simply put out content and wait for the likes and comments to come in.

Unfortunately, building relationships don’t happen by simply putting out content.

If you want to grow on social media, you have to think long term

You have to put in effort to nurture the relationships. Just as much as you may enjoy building relationships in person by meeting up for coffee and staying in touch, in the social media world, you must take the extra effort to engage with others who are active on the same platform.

That means, you must first give before you can expect to receive.

Give what?

Give engagement. So many of us (me included) tend to lurk around social media with an invisibility cloak. We view other people’s posts, but do not hit that like button. Very few share any comments on other’s posts unless it REALLY resonates with them.

They put too much weightage on their ‘like’ and ‘comment’ that they become overly selective of giving engagement.

One thing is pretty clear. If you’re not socialising on social media, then you’re not gonna see the results you desire

Whether it’s gaining more followers, likes, comments,

Or getting inbound enquiries (for entrepreneurs)

Or getting job offers for that matter (for candidates/employees)

How can I achieve these results though?

If you’ve decided to use social media as a way to get better opportunities, try this instead.

Build new habits by taking advantage of old ones

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You probably have very strong habits and connections that you take for granted each day. For example, your brain is probably very efficient at remembering to take a shower each morning or to brew your morning cup of coffee or to open the blinds when the sun rises … or thousands of other daily habits. You can take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits.


When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behaviour to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do regularly and then stack your new behaviour on top.

This is called habit stacking.

Assuming you are consistent in posting content on social media, you need to build another habit on top of it. You need to get into the habit of giving engagement before and after you post.

For instance, once you’ve planned to put up your post at 12pm on Thursday, set an alarm for 11:45am to simply give engagement.

This means you go through your newsfeed, engage with other people’s posts that you resonate with (which don’t have to be “perfect”) by giving them a like and a comment that is meaningful + relevant.

After that, at 12pm, you put up your post, and continue to engage with other people’s posts for another 15 minutes. Make sure you set another alarm for 12:15pm to make sure you don’t get carried away with social media.

It’s not about how long you are on social media. It’s about what you do with your time while you’re on it.

Make sure you are commenting, or people won’t take notice of you. Yes, it takes a lot more effort, but nothing worthwhile comes easy, does it?

Bonus tip: If you can add value to someone else through your comments, do it. For example, share some tips, connect them to someone, or encourage them in their posts. These small things add up into your ‘Social Capital’. People will start noticing you as a good person to have in their network. They also feel less “afraid” to reach out to you.

That’s all it takes. 30 minutes of engagement to socialise with the people you interact with online. The law of reciprocity is one of the basic laws of social psychology.

It says that in many social situations, we pay back what we received from others

If you can make this into a regular routine, it’s almost as if you are attending networking events online. People will start to notice you more and they will be much more open to meeting you in person. Your efforts will start to bear fruit when you invest in the relationships you grow.

This is the new-age method of building relationships. Get to know one another online and meet up in person afterwards and it will feel like you’re re-connecting with an old friend. They will know what’s the latest with you through social media and you can dive into deeper conversations when you eventually meet up in person.

Want to practice what you just learnt from the article above? Then share your thoughts in the comments below!

Do the Scorecard

Find out why you're not getting the
desired results from LinkedIn

Hidden Content
About the Author Vivek Iyyani
Vivek Iyyani is the Founder of Millennial Minds, a content marketing agency that is specialised in marketing to Millennials & Gen Zs. He is the author of Engaging Millennials (Singapore Book Awards Best Professional Title Top 5 Nominee 2022), The Millennial Leader (Winner of Singapore Book Awards Best Professional Title 2023) and Marketing to Millennials. He has been invited to share on top news channels such as CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Vasantham and Tamil Murasu on the topic of Millennials & Multi-generational Workforce.
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