10 Tips for Successful Social Media and In-Person Networking
There has been much debate as to whether social media or in-person networking is more effective. While it is true that social media channels can help you accelerate the process of making new contacts, especially in large quantities, the personal face-to-face element can be equally important to successfully building your network. It takes a combination of both to get the best results, and as with all new forms of technology, we are still attempting to figure out the right balance.
Social Media Networking
- Make the most of your extended network.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can now establish the links from your existing network to those who you wish to make contact with.
- Don’t ask what your network can do for you, but what you can do for your network.
Remember this works both ways. Make sure that you are an open source and willing to help fellow networkers.
- Be persistent, but not pushy.
It sometimes takes that extra tenacity to put yourself out there and cold connect to a new potential connection, particularly if you need their help for your career progression.
- Be organized.
Building up your professional network takes time. Social media networking can speed up this process dramatically, but it takes commitment and consistency. Make sure that you that you keep your professional profiles up-to-date for maximize your chances of success.
- Convert online relations to offline relations.
While online networking can be a great way to build a large scale business network of contacts in a few short months, to capitalize on your hard work, make sure you try convert online relations into offline meet-ups.
- Don’t play waiting games.
After attending a networking event, you may have exchanged business cards and made some great connections. It is important to take the initiative to contact them, and not wait for them to contact you.
- Start with a formal introduction.
When in a relaxed networking environment, people often forget that it’s still vital to introduce themselves by their full name. Your name could be shared by any number of people, so consciously giving them your full name can really make a difference.
- Keep the flow.
The social etiquette of networking can be a difficult one to fathom. It is a common occurrence that a networker may become ‘trapped’ in conversation. It is important to move around the room to maximize the potential of the event.
- Be the early bird.
If you are not an experienced networker and the idea of working a room makes you feel uncomfortable, you might want to consider arriving early. This will give you the ability to speak to people on a one-on-one basis before others arrive, and will avoid you having to shoehorn your way into on-going conversations.
- Don’t be shy!
Try not to be afraid to put yourself out there and take some risks. Networking has proven power to help you transition to new opportunities, and only those who are able to confidently network can use networking to its full potential.
I actually tend to view Social Media as a disciplinary tool to keep me communicating and talking to folks throughout the week and long work days.
Social media almost like the geology and seismic tests. In person is when you drill for oil. There's no good replacement for it.