A 2016 study byForbesshowed that networking is essential for the entrepreneurial success of 78 percent of start-ups. Building and sustaining business relationships with competitors, clients and suppliers creates an atmosphere for growth through learning. However, what happens when virtual networking is the new norm?
The new technological age is slowly turning physical conferences and meetings over coffee a thing of the past. Connections over virtual networks, including social media, Zoom or Skype, and other internet platforms, have increased since these applications have made it simpler and less expensive to network.
How can you best use virtual networking to grow your business? Here are four effective tips.
Having a worthwhile presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn is invaluable as it helps to get the word out about your products. At the same time, it creates a platform for your business to interact with related people and businesses in the industry.
Things to try:
Polls & Questions
Commenting and engaging with other people's posts
Add a variety of content that is aligned around your audience
Each social media platform attracts a different kind of audience, so it is advisable to have a presence on all that are applicable. The targeted market for each of them should be modeled to fit the platform users' profiles.
2. Attend and Speak at Virtual Events
There has been a huge increase in the number of virtual events in 2020, especially due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses are embracing this trend with mixed feelings on its effectiveness, according to a survey byInternational Data Corporation.
Attending a virtual conference or meeting is both educational and fulfilling. A business can learn and improve on ways to market, support, or even produce, making the running of your business easier after attending these events. It is also prudent to follow-up on anything you are interested in after the event through the speakers' or their business' social media accounts.
Speaking at virtual events is an effective way to build your online reputation and strengthen relationships. During these sessions, your business has an opportunity to tell its story and interact with its audience.
The topics to be discussed are the most important aspect of the event, as they attract both the speakers and the audience.
Come up with engaging and informative subjects, making sure that the audience will want to gain the knowledge, and the speakers are willing to share the information.
4. Make All Interactions Meaningful
Virtual interactions on social media or at live events must not simply be done for the same of making a connection. A recentWild Apricot studysaw that the primary goal of virtual events was to keep members connected. No matter how simple, an interaction has the potential to get information that can transform your business, depending on how you treat it.
Most businesses make the mistake of focusing too much on using virtual platforms to gain new contacts, completely ignoring the old ones. Old contacts are just as important as new ones. Put some effort into maintaining the contacts that you gain throughout the virtual networking process.
Finding and connecting with higher-level contacts in your industry can be a huge asset. Businesses within the same industry level typically experience the same problems. They are seeking the same contacts and industry information. Make creating and keeping connections with industry leaders just as much of a priority as maintaining connections with your peers.
Virtual Networking Will Grow Your Business
Nurturing connections with clients, competitors and related businesses has always been a good way to grow a business. Using virtual networking in the right way can help your business connect with the right audience, and get the information you need to push to the next level.
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