Networking & Social Media Walking Hand in Hand
- By Briana Bragg
Social media the wonder site. There are few who have truly learned how to take advantage of the phenomena as a tool for business. Many share their lives on it, many treat it as though it is a “traditional” form of advertising, many blast their message as often as they can; however very few realize its potential to build and develop true long lasting relationships.
Social media is much like networking and relationship marketing. When you attend a networking event, you look for people with whom you can develop relationships with to either refer business to or to/who can refer business to you or do business with.
Social media is the same concept. It is relationship building, no matter how large the company is or how small. For the first time a company has the ability to build a relationship with each client and prospect on a very personal relationship.
For small businesses social media can aid networking events. You go to a networking event and collect all of these business cards, now what? Simple, connect with those individuals and their companies on the various social platforms, and then develop the relationship.
Pay attention to their social media content, share it when possible; send them a message to catch up or to grab coffee. The point is to keep those connections thinking about you they will either refer you business or do business with you themselves.
For a large company, it is a great opportunity to get to know the percentage of your clients who are influencers. Share with them, ask them for their feedback, promote to them, and gain their insight. They are the ones in your network that will share deals, tell you what your company can improve on, and even help you develop new products and services.
Social media is not the place to launch your new sales team. Selling directly through content will turn off your network, no matter the size of your audience. It is more important to gain brand loyalty and to build relationships, which will then turn into business in the long run.
Focus on how you can build your credibility and how you can expedite the relationships you are building. This will lead to a much higher ROI and a longer term commitment from your network to share and buy your product or use your services.
Social media and networking go hand in hand. They both take commitment and time to develop the right relationships with the right people.