Working virtually means that we don't see people face to face every day. We know that we need to perfect the skill of social networking in order to expand our audience and, well, our network.

But it takes skills in order to be able to do this effectively. We can't just walk into a virtual 'room' and greet everyone we know and meet them.

So here are a few tips on how to engage people while exercising etiquette:

Introduce yourself. Sounds simple, but some people just never do it. When you join a group or forum of your potential clients or colleagues, let them know that you have joined. Introduce yourself and let everyone know what you do and why you joined the group. It's the best conversation starter!

Tell me how I know you. If you are asking someone to be a connection through your social networks, tell them how you found them. If you belong to a LinkedIn group together, or if you are both interested in the same person's Fan Page, or if you just really like their Twitter posts, indicate that in your invitation. Nothing is more thought provoking than an invitation from someone you have never heard of!

Don't be a windbag. Make your posts brief and conversational. Don't go on and on in your posts - you will lose people's attention. Everyone receives enough email and notifications - be concise in your message or post and you will go much further! (There are groups out there that are very conversational, but in my experience these are usually personal groups, not business ones).

Contribute regularly. The worst thing you can do with your social networking is pop in now and again. The idea is to set a schedule and hold yourself to it, so you are contributing regularly, even if it's just a post every day. Like any relationship, it's the amount of time you invest in it that will bring you your return.

Don't overdo it. Only join groups or social networking platforms that you plan to use regularly. It's not necessary to be everywhere, but rather to use everywhere that you are. You want your networking time to be effective for you, so plan it well.

Everyone has a limited amount of time to connect with other people whether it's online or offline. Be sure that you put your proper strategy in place and then follow these simple tips and you will build an expandable and fun social networking profile for yourself!

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D'Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey's free ebook "How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant" at