Don’t hog the conversation, ask questions and pay attention to what they say.
As famous adman David Ogilvy said, “If you want to be interesting, be interested.”
Schedule time for routine follow-ups, which can be about anything.
Send a relevant article to someone who interviewed you for a job you didn’t get. Even though it didn’t work out, you liked that person you met, and want to stay in touch. Show that you’re a good sport and still attentive to the company and industry. (Just don’t revisit the job interview.)
Say hello to someone you met at a conference last year with the just-published agenda for this year’s event, asking if they’ll be attending.
Share interesting news about your old company with a former colleague. Former coworkers are sometimes the best weak ties — you may not have known them well, but there’s a feeling of kinship. A simple note asking what they’re up to along with a story can keep the connection going, or even strengthen it.
Show you’re paying attention to your weak ties by sending them items (news, event, commentary) related to their interests. For someone you don’t know well, this will give a moment of delight and appreciation. What you send is based on what you know: are they presenting at a conference, doing research, passionate about a project, focused on an emerging trend?
5. Reinforce a connection you just made by following up with relevant information. If you just met someone and talked about mobile phone usage, send the news story you spotted on this with a brief note (“This made me think of our conversation”).