Networking used to be all about in-person meet-and-greets, handshaking and business card exchanging. But these days, most people are networking online much more than in person.
If you’re bringing the same old rules from in-person networking to your online exchanges, you may be missing out on some better ways to connect online.
Here are some guidelines to make meeting new people and connecting with businesses easier in the online world.
Be Social, Not Promotional
Online, you lose a lot of nonverbal cues in communication. There’s no eye contact, no smiling, and no scrunched eyebrows to show you’re listening. To make up for this loss, you have to focus more on being social online, and less on being promotional. Talk to people, remember the things they care about, make a note of past conversations, and be personable. This will get people interested in you, which will naturally lead them to want to know more about you and your business.
On sites like Facebook and Twitter, if your content is only seen by people who already follow you, then you’re missing out on the opportunity to network with people you haven’t yet met. One way to bridge this divide is by using hashtags. Hashtags are created by typing a number sign (#) in front of crucial, identifying words within your social media updates. The hashtag creates a link that allows all users to see sitewide comments using that hashtag.
So, for example, if you used the hashtag #Networking in an update, anyone who was following that hashtag would see your post, which means that you’d get exposure to far more people who are interested in the same topics you are.
Ask for Help when Networking Online
Social media trends move quickly these days, and it’s hard for the average person to keep up. Many marketing companies stay on top of trends and can help support your online networking efforts. They can use the most effective current methods to guide you to find others who share your concerns and need your products or services.
Keep Your Profile Up-to-Date
Your online profile is your business card when networking online. And just like you wouldn’t pass out a business card with the wrong information, you shouldn’t have incorrect information or out-of-date content on your social media or website profiles. Keep your website current, trendy, and content-rich. It should be something visitors want to see and answers questions they might have. Use a telecommunication service if you need to field calls, questions or other issues frequently. Taking up your time with networking like this can easily drain your resources needed on other projects.
Networking online is easy to do, but it takes some effort to do it right. Consider what you want to get out of the process and how your attempts will look to others, and you’ll have a better chance of getting the results you want.
If you are interested in learning more about how this topic can help your business, please contact our agency on our contact page or call us at 1-888-964-4991. We publish a new article once or twice per month so make sure to follow us on social media and allow for push notifications if you want to stay in the loop with our agency and digital marketing.
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About the Author
Ben has always had a passion for technology and what makes things work. Designing websites to learn new styles, Ben brings a designer’s eye to web development. Before beginning his career in Web Development, Ben served in the US Army as a Signal Soldier. Ben helped units stay connected by maintaining network connectivity and overseeing Satellite and Antenna Communications.