Have you ever connected with someone on social media, only to meet them later in person?
That happened to me recently. I started a conversation with "I think I know you..." and the lady said "That's because we're friends on LinkedIn! I love the work your company does."
Apart from being a great icebreaker, that's evidence that social media really can help you take your networking to the next level.
I made this short video explaining how I use social media to improve my face to face marketing:
When you connect with people on social media, you give them a chance to get familiar with you and your company at their own pace, and vice versa. Then, when you meet in person, you don’t have to do the whole “elevator speech” – you can get right to talking about how you can do business together.
Let’s say there’s a company that you’d like to work with, but you don’t know anyone there. That’s why social media is so great – you can do some research, and then reach out to the right person on LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever network they’re active on.
With some networks, like LinkedIn, you can even search for people you have contacts in common with – kind of like an introduction!
In my experience, this works a whole lot better than cold-calling (and getting the door slammed in my face).
I go to a lot of networking events, and I try to meet as many different people as I can – usually, I come back with scores of business cards. But getting a business card doesn’t mean I had an in-depth conversation with someone about what they do, or tell them about our business.
That’s why, after I get back from a networking event, I go through that stack of business cards and connect with all those people on social media.
Not only does it help them remember me and give us another chance to talk, but it also helps me get an idea of what their needs are and how I can help solve their problems.
It’s just icing on the cake that sometimes I make new friends… and speaking of that, if you’re a fan of Friends (the show), watch the video I made for a little inside joke at the end.