Networking in the Digital Age

Building your business reach nowadays takes on a different form compared to decades ago, or even the last five years, for that matter. Staying abreast of not only how people connect but the platforms behind the various techniques available for doing so is crucial, whether looking to take on new clients or partner with other organizations. While meet-and-greets and business conferences are far more personal and still tried-and-true ways of creating, strengthening and maintaining connections, digital networking opens up a world of opportunity.

Benefits of networking in the digital age include:

  • Enhanced information sharing
  • Cultivation of relationships
  • Exponential business growth
  • Global reach/exposure
  • Expedited dissemination of information
  • Unlimited potential for new opportunities

Digital Networking for Today’s Professional

Physical, in-person communication still reigns king, but failing to take advantage of digital networking leaves a great deal of untapped opportunity to grow your business reach, expand your knowledge base and enrich relationships with business contacts. Consider the following popular avenues for networking today:

LinkedIn – A wonderful outlet for expanding your network, LinkedIn is the platform for initiating and fortifying connections with colleagues, recruiters and other organizations. No matter your profession, this unique social media arena affords the occasion to network with other professionals, potential employers and employees, and business contacts.

Email – Using email for networking purposes can be extremely advantageous, provided it’s not spammy. Email is great for follow-ups and keeping your name, brand or business fresh in the minds of your contacts. It’s also an effective means of communicating upcoming events, changes to your business structure or product offerings, and your interest in the brand, products and/or services of your contacts.

Social Media – Networking through social media is a way to really maximize your business reach. With the potential to engage millions of people around the world, well-placed social media posts can take your business to heightened levels. Since social media platforms do offer the chance to reach the masses, however, be sure you engage in a way that supports your business goals and objectives as well as your brand.

Apps – As you well know, there’s an app for everything nowadays – and business networking is no different. New networking apps are constantly in the works, and can certainly streamline your efforts to connect whether in town or on the road. A few of the more popular, current networking apps include Addaapt, Shapr, Fuze, GroupMe, MeetMe and Skype. A quick, periodic Google search can keep you up-to-date with what’s relevant at any given time.

You never know when your connections will drive your business into new, profitable territories. Give it the best chance possible with a sound digital networking strategy.

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Social Media to Grow Your Business?

Social media has become a cornerstone of marketing for businesses and individual services worldwide. Whether brick-and-mortar or Internet based, companies of all sizes are getting in on the social media marketing game, and with huge success. Not every platform is right for all types of businesses, but to ignore this huge elephant of a marketing strategy is selling yourself short of maximizing your business reach – and your profits.

The Platforms Are Aplenty

From Facebook to Pinterest and everything in between, you likely have your own personal relationship with social media – but does your business? Teens, stay-at-home-moms and dads, business associates and even grandparents crave the connection these outlets provide, visiting their accounts multiple times each day (some bordering on the obsessive). When it comes to social media, there truly is something for everyone. Consider the following popular avenues in which we stay socially connected:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • … and a whole host of others (literally – there’s something for everyone)

Give Thanks to the Information Superhighway

Thank you, Internet (and Al Gore). Congruent with the rise in social media popularity for staying connected with others, businesses everywhere have leveraged the world’s love for the Internet as a chance to be seen and heard by the masses. No matter where you are in the world, you can direct a significant share of your marketing towards your target demographics, often at no to low cost (think PPC and AdWords). With a well-planned social media strategy, your business can reach a much larger audience, even targeting those whom you previously overlooked as potential clients.

Location, Location, Location

Yes, the Internet is everywhere. But jockeying for that coveted first page of Google rankings means a great deal to many a company. Given the world’s love and devotion to social media, the potential for widespread information exchange is exponential and affords the opportunity for well-placed content to bring in new and repeat business. “Content is king,” three words having become an axiom for Internet/social media marketing, rings true – but only as it best relates to your business, brand and marketing goals. Your efforts on social media, and your company website, should include content, images, infographics and the like to appropriately engage your audience. Only when you have your target market’s full attention will you convert engagement to sales. Position your content wisely, and reap great rewards.

Branding Through Social Media

Social media is an excellent way to brand your business, products or services. The key is determining which social media channels best support your marketing/branding objectives. Consumers are smart and often know exactly what they’re looking for. It’s important to choose the right platforms, and remain genuine and truthful in your message to best engage your audience organically.

No matter your business or position within an organization, you could say you have the world at your fingertips. If you find the task of social media daunting, it’s often well worth it to hire a social media marketing manager. In either case, don’t let this enormous opportunity to further your business reach pass you by.