As a part of building your business it is essential to network, get out in front of people shake hands and exchange cards. You know what I am talking about the networking groups, the local Chambers, Morning Breakfasts and Evening Mixers. People do business with people they trust, so why would a business owner ever use social media? Because social media offers great tools that can help you take your first meeting and turn it into a closed deal. "How?", you ask. These 5 steps can lead you to a whole new level of networking, social networking.
1. Relationship Building
At an event there is hardly any time to get past your introduction and elevator speech and hardly no time at all to get to know someone. By taking those cards you collected and doing a quick search on Facebook you can take the relationship to the next level, find out about the contacts likes and dislikes, family and personality, truly fostering a real relationship!
2. Become an Expert
When posting on your social media profiles think strategically. Are you posting content that positions you as an expert in your field? Share articles, and opinions about your industry and show your new friends that they can come to you for the latest information.
3. Offer Support
Everyone likes a pat on the back every now and then. Make sure you are commenting, liking, retweeting and sharing your new friends information. This will help you show others that you are interested in what they have to say and they will in turn show you the same support.
Did you not get the chance to meet that one person you would have liked to at that last event? Well reach out to them using Social Media by finding some mutual friends and starting a conversation or a way to help them out.
5. Reviews & Testimonials
People like to see how others see you before doing business with you and what better way then showing them your reviews and recommendations. You can use sites like Yelp, LinkedIn & Google Places for this.
What do you think? Is there a way that you use social media for networking?
-Alex Marie Manriquez