From LinkedIn to Facebook, blogs to Twitter, the landscape of business networking has been universally affected by developments in modern technology. Navigating your way around the multitude of ever-changing modes of networking can be overwhelming at times. In the business world there are now a number of tools available that you can use to engage your clients, partners and the community outside of traditional networking. But what about traditional forms of networking?
Are the tried and true methods that we are so familiar with being slowly phased out in favour of social media and digital networking? If so, what’s the best way to incorporate social media into your business plan?
The truth is, today’s business culture requires a hybrid of old and new networking methods that work together in a well thought out plan. There is no denying that business networking and marketing have changed, especially in the face of social media. This is why it’s important for you to secure a place for your company in both the modern and traditional marketplaces, because there is value in both
Modern Social Media: Enhance Your Networking and Engage!
I can’t stress enough that in today’s business environment developing a voice in the digital world is undeniably important. Incorporating social media into your marketing and growth plan is a great way to reach a large audience in the most efficient way possible. The value of traditional networking is not diminished but enhanced by new social networking platforms.
It is important to remember that social networking is like an extension of your current marketing plan, not a completely separate effort and is not a cause for intimidation. Using tools like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can lead to new opportunities for partnerships and sales, and even can be used to sustain relationships that you have established through traditional networking. As long as your company maintains a strong, coherent and authentic identity across many forms of social media, the opportunities for development are endless.
Creating and maintaining an authentic and coherent identity overtime is by far the most important part of any digital marketing strategy. It is a buyers market, and pushing sales onto potential consumers is no longer the best approach. Creating a digital brand is accomplished by updating websites, blogs, and profiles on a regular basis. Putting in the effort to maintain this online brand will undoubtedly payoff by generating exposure and allowing your business to quickly disseminate information to the public.
Traditional and Social Media Networking for Optimal Results
Traditional, word of mouth networking is still an incredibly effective way to get your company’s name out there and find new partners, consumers, etc. Nothing compares to the face-to-face interaction you experience at events, meetings or through casual interactions, but keeping up with these connections can be incredibly time consuming. Enter: Social Media.
Social media allows you to establish a presence in a non-intrusive way digitally. It allows individuals to easily search and access your company’s information, allowing them to get a better idea of what your all about in a highly efficient way. Conversely, you can use social networks as an introduction, and then carry that conversation to real life. Social media interaction can become the icebreaker with a new contact days, if not weeks, before you meet them. With the ability to harness social media to make those contacts there will be no more use for cold calling. Boy, wouldn’t it be a greater world without cold calling?
It is important to remember that social media marketing is not a replacement for other marketing tactics, but works best when combined with other marketing activities that work well for your company, like advertising in a newspaper, attending events, and sending mail. By integrating you marketing arms together with a sustained social media presence you will begin creating relationships and develop brand awareness through your other advertising channels. Just remember to make it controlled on cohesive. You don’t want to be throwing seven different messages at your clients.