A giant grouper.
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Always thank people for links, re-tweets or mentions. You can reply on the site, send a direct message, an e-mail or a phone call to express your appreciation. Look for a chance to reciprocate down the road. Share a great blog post or good mention of them in the media to your network.

Give credit to the source. Find their name on Twitter and say something like “Awesome post from @chrisbrogan on Twitter!” This gives credit to and alerts the author. Same thing with re-tweets. Don’t steal Tweets without giving credit. Either say ‘RT @jfouts‘ and then quote the tweet verbatim (don’t edit unless you have to to make it shorter) or quote the tweet as is, adding (via @jfouts) at the end. If the Tweet has been re-tweeted several times, credit the original tweeter.

Comment a lot. Look for forum, network and blog posts that interest you. Even if they’re not directly related to your business. People want to know something about the person they’re talking to, so if you fish as a hobby, go ahead and comment on somebody’s fishing trip. On a business blog, comment only about business. Stay on topic, be concise, and leave enough for somebody else to talk about too. You want to stimulate conversation, not dominate the room.

Be personal, but remember you’re in public. Don’t say things you’ll be ashamed of later, and don’t be mean. You can’t really take it back even if you erase it. Why? Because others may have shared it to all of their networks before you can delete it.

Be transparent. If your social media persona is for a corporation or you’re looking for a job, let people know either in your profile or by your posts. If you are promoting a client with a link it’s common practice to simply let people know you like this client. The more open you are about who you are and why you’re sharing, the better.

Put the flamethrower away. Some individuals are famous for attacking the social media bigwigs at every opportunity. We might be amused, but in the end we don’t respect or trust them.

Be open minded. When you create your new network, think out of the box. Listen carefully for people talking about things that interest you in other niches. If you only talk about one subject with people they get bored. Talk about your hobbies, and follow people who do what you WANT to do. These connections can easily lead to new opportunities.

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