by Amy Airom
If you’re like me, you LOVE attending networking events. I just love the opportunity to meet new people, hear their story and learn about their business. If you’re not like me, and you’re not a huge fan of networking events, then you’re really going to want to pay attention to this. Either way you look at it, networking events have a HUGE potential to increase your connections and grow your business. After all, building relationships is at the core of networking events, right? Yes!
So the question becomes, how do you take the experience of attending a networking event and making even more effective for you and your business? The answer is social media! Plain and simple! However, having a strategy is helpful and supporting tactics to execute this strategy are also helpful, right? Exactly! This is what I am going to share with you. Listen closely 🙂
First of all, I’m assuming you’re already active on the social media platform that your ideal clients are active on – this is step 1. If you have not yet identified that platform, do this now. Feel free to set up an appointment and we can walk through this step together on a 20 min call (amyairom.as.me/connect).
Once you’ve found that platform, filled out your profile completely and have established a consistent pattern of creating content, then it’s time to use social media to EXPLODE your in person networking! Below are the specific tactics I’ve developed and discovered for each platform – Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Imagine you’re at a networking event having a great conversation with a new connection and at the end of it you exchange business cards. In a perfect world, over the next few days you get in contact with each other and schedule a time to meet.
What if, at the time you’re exchanging business cards, you also ask your new connect if they use social media and how you can connect with them there? Maybe it’s hitting “like” on their Facebook Business Page? Or following them on Instagram? or sending a connection request on LinkedIn. Each of these ways give you the ability to learn more about your new connection and their business right away! And, chances are, the reason they are active on social media is for that exact reason, to build connections and relationships!
The key is just to ask! And I don’t mean ask this new connection right after you say “Hi.” What I’m referring to is incorporating this new question into your conversation when you’re exchanging business cards.
So if your preferred social media platform is Facebook, here is my suggestion:
Ask them “Can we connect on Facebook, too?” Ask them for the name of their Facebook Business Page and “like” the page. You will start seeing their content right away. I like to do this because the name of the page isn’t always obvious and it saves you time in having to search for it. Ninja trick: Add your social media handles (usernames) onto the back of your business cards!
One-two days later: Send a personal Facebook message text or (SUPER AWESOME) Facebook voice or video message to introduce yourself again and offer to set up a call/Zoom/meeting/coffee to connect!
Ongoing Basis: Set up a Facebook “List.” This allows you to create a group of people, in this case those you’ve newly connected with and want to stay in touch. You can post directly to this group or you can post publicly to exclude this list. You can also see all the posts from these people in one single newsfeed.
Here’s a video of how to do this:
If your preferred platform is Instagram, again, this is one that will be much easier to initiate in person, because not everyone has an obvious Instagram handle (user name). Ninja Trick: The only searchable fields in Instagram is the “name field” and username field. Choose those wisely! (ie. Make sure they are easily identifiable as you, assuming you want to be found)
1-2 Days Later – Send a direct message (text or voice) to follow up after the networking event. Similar to a follow up email (or even better, a phone call!) This is a nice way to personalize a message to your new connection! Remember, social media is all about being social, connecting and having conversations!
Ongoing – A neat ninja trick I’ve been implementing lately is saving posts. The photo below is a recent Instagram post of mine and the arrow is pointing to the “Save Posts” button.
**Ninja trick** Save the posts of the people you want to revisit and engage with their Instagram posts most often!
LinkedIn – Coming soon….