Physical marketing campaigns are great, but business card printing will only get you so far in the digital age. You also need to do some online networking with other professionals and organisations. Internet technology has opened up a new medium of networking and marketing. However, if done incorrectly or insufficiently, online networking won’t produce any positive results at all. If you’re not seeing the results you want, then you need to revamp your strategy. So here are seven steps to effective online networking:
1. Use Time-Saving Tools Such As An RSS Reader
With so much content on networking sites and blogs, how can you sort the relevant information from the irrelevant information? How can you read information from multiple websites without having to visit each and every one? A tool such as an RSS reader allows you to scan updates. It can also be used to bring feeds from around the world wide web to your profile page.
2. Create Social Marketing Profiles
Create profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Since everybody uses social networking sites these days, you can easily network with others. Keep your personal profile separate from your business profile.
3. Do Appropriate Research
There are networking groups for every industry and niche imaginable. Look for groups and forums that match your interests. Read what others are saying in their posts and comments. What kind of ventures are they interested in? Are they looking for the types of services you offer? You can learn a lot about the state of your industry by reading what other people have to say.
4. Start Joining Groups
Join groups that are involved in your niche. Experts recommend joining at least three different online groups. At least one of the groups should cover a range of topics and services, like flyer printing, accounting, internet advertising, and so on. You may even want to start your own group if you find there is not one covering topics you are interested in.
5. Start Participating In Discussions
Groups and message forums can have thousands of members. When you participate in discussions, your messages can potentially be seen by thousands of members. Whenever somebody asks a question, you can share your expertise on the subject matter. If you write quality posts, other members will start to take notice.
6. Establish A Daily Routine
It’s really easy to become distracted when visiting social networking sites. There are tons of games and off-topic posts. When you go to Facebook with the intention of networking, you don’t want to end up playing Zoo World or Farmville. You must establish a disciplined routine. Force yourself to spend at least two hours a day doing some sort of work: make posts, do research, read what others are saying and advertise.
7. Share The Workload
Don’t push yourself too hard. As your company begins to grow, you will need some help. You will no longer be able to spend just a couple of hours a day on your networking strategy. It’s okay to hire others to post on forums and blogs for you. If you follow these steps, you’ll find success with online networking. Good luck!