Everyone has heard the adage that it’s not what you know but who you know. Now, while
what you know is important, it is true that in business who you know is critical. You could be the best hair stylist around, but if no one knows you and what you do, how will you ever get any business. Networking with other professionals and people in the community not only gets your company name out there, it creates a personal connection that is more appealing to people than simply a listing in a telephone book or on the internet.
Today we’re in the midst of a networking revolution with the rapid fire adoption of social media into our personal and professional lives. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of new networking opportunities to grow your business in ways that simply weren’t possible a few years ago. Here are a few tips to jumpstart your business with social media networking:
1) Make your initial contact through social media. Local networking events are still crucial as it gives you those “name to a face” and human contact experiences that are really key in developing relationships. But why not pre-introduce yourself through social media. A “stranger” at a networking event is less likely to spend time chatting with someone they’ve never met than someone whose name they recognize through social media. You instantly know a little about each other and have something to talk about.
2) Become social media “friends”. If you haven’t become friends with networking targets before a meeting or event, make sure that you send friend requests as soon as you get home. This puts you in the top of their mind and makes them believe you feel the same about them. And the word friend has a lot of meaning, even by becoming Facebook friends you’ve garnered a little warmth from them that can help promote your business.
3) Make connections you never would have. Social media is fantastic in that it allows you access to people you may have never encountered before. And then, that’s compounded. Social media not only allows you access to certain individuals but suddenly you have access to all of their contacts, it’s an exponentially expanding universe of potential clients.
4) Be an authority. Be the one people go to for answers by creating a reputation for yourself as an authority through social media. Answer questions on Twitter, provide useful, informational posts on Facebook, engage in professional conversations on LinkedIn. Used correctly, this triumvirate of social media outlets lets you prove your knowledge and gives potential clients a way to instantly connect.
Remember that networking means making connections with people, and in today’s climate of social media you simply cannot limit your business to only face to face connections. Take your networking to a new level and reach more people that you ever imagined.
Using social media networking to grow your business? Tell us what’s working for you!