Networking is so important for small business owners. It can be the difference between staying stagnant in your community and meeting the partner that’s the key to your success. With the ever-growing rise of social media, there have been concerns about a decrease in face-to-face networking. But I say, instead of thinking about the ways social media may discourage face-to-face networking, think of all the ways it can enhance networking on a grander scale.
Here are three ways to up your networking game using social media:
Connect on LinkedIn the right way.
Instead of simply keeping the given connection request blurb that automatically pops up when asking to connect with someone on LinkedIn, add your own personal request. LinkedIn is great for when you meet someone at an event or out and about but didn’t catch their card or email. Mention where you met and that you’d like to discuss business opportunities via email or phone at another time. LinkedIn is a great place to reconnect in order to get the ball rolling in terms of business. Simply connect, and be up-front with your intentions.
Mutually like each other’s pages on Facebook.
Each and every small business should have a Facebook at this point- it’s free advertising after all. If you have your eye on a potential partner business, be sure to like their page. Feature their posts on you page every now and then by “sharing” their statuses or articles they post. If they post something you find interesting, leave a comment! Don’t be overly present liking, commenting, and sharing each and everything they post, but make a point to keep an eye on what they post and let them know that you’re a fan.
Start a conversation on Twitter.
Twitter is the place to jump in on a conversation and add your two cents, and everybody is invited to the party. If a brand you’d like to do business with is hosting a forum or conversation, get in on the action! But, because you’re trying to connect with this business, carefully edit and fully think about your responses. Bad spelling and careless answers won’t exactly make you look like partner potential.
Face-to-face networking is not dead. Networking events can be very beneficial- you learn more about someone in person than you do online, but don’t discount online networking because you’re a face-to-face networking advocate. As small business owners, we need to constantly be searching for new ways to generate business. Keep up your face-to-face networking and add social networking into the equation.
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About Deborah Sweeney
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.