We all know the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” – and those of us in business know that, in this age of global communications, this statement couldn’t be more accurate. With the rapid rise of networking apps like Linkedin, Facebook and other Social Media platforms, some of us could be justified in thinking that there is no point in physically networking anymore – seems like a waste of time doesn’t it? But the truth is that the more we adapt to virtual communications, the more value is attributed to real face-to-face interactions – those physical meetings of the minds become more memorable, more productive and in turn, more valuable.
So try to imagine combining the impact of real world interactions with the power of your social media presence? If you manage to get followers but struggle to convert them into customers or business opportunities, then read our tips below and take action now!
Business is business
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in – everybody can benefit from a networking event, just make sure you target people who will have an interest in attending your event. Don’t be too restrictive in targeting either – think about industries that work around yours as well, think about experts in your industry (even if they don’t have the obvious potential to bring direct business, they will undoubtedly have valuable expertise and connections).
Use all your social networks and contact lists to promote your event, it’s a game of statistics: the more people you contact/reach, the more are likely to turn up. Take the time to “curate” your social media targets to make sure you are reaching the right people if you end up doing some advertising or online promotion – there’s nothing more disappointing than working hard to push a message but pushing it to the wrong people.
Be Seen and Be Heard
Cut through the BS. Make your message clear and to the point when promoting your event. Most social media platforms are now flooded with paid content trying to sell people products and services. Reaching your target audience is one thing, but they need to see you amongst all the other targeted content they scroll through.
The work doesn’t end at your networking event… the point of going through all this effort is, after all, to grow your business opportunities. As such, your role is to think of all the ways you can collect valuable information from attendees and how to efficiently store and use it for your purposes post-event. Get them to fill a survey, get contact details from application forms or guest lists, introduce an app to your event to engage your audience more and make it more interactive – get creative and remain strategic. Also, you are not exempt of the now established and necessary practice of ‘hash tagging’ – create easy, memorable and relevant hashtags to engage your attendees and grow your event’s traction.
And of course, once you have all this valuable information – use it! Add emails to your newsletter contact list, use survey responses to refine your services/improve your customer’s experience etc. Again, being creative and strategic form the base of success here.