Adding Social Media to your Networking Strategy

The key to this is to add social media to your networking. It's not a substitute. Nor is it a good way to avoid starting a serious, consistent in-person networking program.

It's like becoming a professional juggler. They all started out with the basic three balls. Then when they have perfected that simple foundation, they add chainsaws and flaming torches. That's the icing on the cake, but they never abandon the basics.

Here are some tips for adding social media to your networking strategy while keeping touch with the real world:
  • Don't get into social media until and unless you feel comfortable meeting new people in the offline world. It could become too tempting to get online and stay there.
  • Some of the basics of real-world networking (find out what you have in common with people, give first, help people get connected, slowly building trust and a reputation) are twice as important in the social media.
  • Take it offline as much as possible. It's nice to have Facebook or Twitter contacts, but when push comes to shove (or it's time to do business), real-world friends have the edge.
  • Some things are easier online: remembering peoples' names (ha ha), finding out what you have in common (you can skip the small talk), and keeping track of each other (just click on their home page).
  • Some other not-so-good things are easier too: "tweets" (they are only 140 characters) or emails are more easily misunderstood (causing hurt feelings or worse), it's a lot easier to be ignored, and unfriending or unfollowing is a lot easier to do than to tell someone in person you don't want to spend time with them.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Beth,
    I just love that you are going to present this to fellow Chamber comrades. I think simple is best. Foundation, foundation, foundation. Would you agree? It's hard for many people to see the " good " in any of this (generation gap and all) things have been done very well without "social media" but the times are very different and we must catch up or be forgotten and considered "dinosaurs" At least that is my own opinion. Why do social media?
    1). Branding and Consistency
    2). To convert connections into a real life network.
    3). To help and be helped
    4). Staying in people's minds. Social networking can keep people thinking of you first before some other person or company. It is good logic.
    We all have an edge in the market of what we do if we take the time to meet, help and associate in some way with these on line connections. Who are they going to remember better? You if you have converted the internet connection with the real world connection.