There are benefits to networking both online and offline. A lot of business professionals prefer networking in person because they are more comfortable with it.
Social networking is new and ambiguous, but super essential to success in the digital era. Here are some quick and effective tips for entrepreneurs who want to build relationships online.
1. Start small.
Pick one or two social networks to start. Once you are comfortable with them and have enough time to devote, you can add to your marketing activities through content creation and influencer, brand building tactics. However, if you spread yourself too thin, you won’t be able to network the way that you should.
Action Item: Download your social network app of choice and turn on push notifications.
2. Pick your social networks carefully.
Each social media network offers a specific audience and has special features that work well for different types of networking. First, decide what your goals are and then decide which network(s) you want to focus on.
If you want to show off your artwork and network with other artists, you may want to stick with Pinterest where you can pin your own art and that of other artists or the free photo sharing application, Instagram. Facebook, for example, is good for event planners nowadays too, while LinkedIn offers professional networking opportunities that can help build your influence.
Action Item: Ensure your Twitter profile is part of the mix for engaging new people.
3. Be present.
It is important that you connect with others online. It is also important to remember that it takes work to make online relationships works. You must take time to regularly check online and respond to messages.
Answer questions. Scroll through your feed and share relevant information with your followers. Do you have anything helpful to add? Make sure that anything you add to a conversation makes it better.
Action Item: Consider a social profile you haven’t used in 3 months and whether it will continue to be a part of your social marketing plans. You may need to rework your presence or try a different approach.
It is important for business owners to succeed at social networking. Start small and pick your networks carefully. They are all different for a reason and contextualizing your content is key. Then, when you pick one or two, devote a portion of time to it regularly.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Matt “Handshakin” Holmes is the founder of the Handshakin Video Series. He claims entrepreneurs succeed through immersion in an entrepreneurial community, gathering feedback with industry experts, and building relationships with world-class mentors. After almost a decade living in Denver and over half a decade of launching startups, the Handshakin Video Series was created to interview Colorado’s most successful entrepreneurs on how Handshakin played into their success. Headquartered in a city that Forbes calls the second best place to launch your startup, he also founded the Handshakin Startup Pre-accelerator and organizes Startup Denver. This post originally appeared on the authors blog. Connect with @handshakin on Twitter.
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