Face to Face Networking is not the only way to network anymore.
Despite the fact that I am a very active social networker and I enjoy engaging on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc, I will stand on the tallest mountains and shout this very deliberate and honest statement, “Networking in-real-life, face to face, trumps social networking every single day of the year.”
I believe this and live it every day.
Yes, I learn new ideas and make lots of great connections that turn into friends and real relationships through my social networking activity. I actually make money because of the relationships I create and nurture on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. However, I would rather meet someone in-real-life at a networking event, a coffee shop or deli than I would through social networking platforms, if I can.
But, because of our fast paced world and our continually expanding networks of people beyond our cities, regions and even states, social media are vital networking tools. If we want to be able to compete in this environment, we must accept these new social networking tools.
Here are five steps that can help us get benefit from our social networking and will add value to our face to face networking as well.
#1 – While attending networking events and collecting the business cards that we know people will share with us, let them know that we are also social networkers. Tell them that we’ll connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc, if they are also social networkers and use these tools too.
#2 – When we get back to our offices, after a networking event, immediately go to our social media platforms and look for the people we just met. Invite them to connect where ever relevant to us and them.
#3 – After they respond and connect with us, send a message thanking them for the social network connection. Where relevant and mutually beneficial invite them to get together on a one-on-one in the near future.
#4 – Don’t stop here. Periodically reach out to our new social networking connections and at the very least say hello. Maybe share some relevant and useful information we found online or ask them if there is anything we can do to help them. Better yet, introduce them to another one of our other social networking connections. This is called nurturing our connections and it’s an important part of relationship building.
#5 – Finally, when we’re at networking events, say hello to our new in-real-life and social networking contact. Ask them, “who else do you suggest I meet, in-real-life and/or through social networking?” This question is vital if we want to continue expanding our network.
Face to face networking always trumps social networking. However, we need to use social networking alongside in-real-life networking if we are going to be successful in this new environment.
This is the 3rd article in this 336 Events Networking Education Series. You can find all of these articles online at www.ncwiseman.com/336Events.
This series is brought to us by Teddy Burriss, a world renowned Networking Strategist. Teddy teaches “Networking for Mutual Benefit” and “Building Relationships through Social Media.” Teddy is an accomplished author, public speaker, avid social media engager and blogger.
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