Networking opportunities go beyond attending social events to look for potential clients or customers. While these events work well for many, they can be maximized when accompanied by an online strategy.
One of the most underrated uses of online marketing is the ability to create, join and contribute to online conversations for networking. You may already be a part of a social networking group, most likely on LinkedIn.
The 90-9-1 Rule for online community engagement claimed that 90 percent of users were lurkers (observe and don’t contribute), nine percent were commenters (edit or rate content, but not create), and one percent were creators.
Many believe this has changed, but it still makes the point to have the best online community engagement for you and your brand, you should be active in all three roles.
Let’s look at a few simple ways you can start to become more visible in online communities by observing, commenting and creating.
LinkedIn has surged to the top of the list for best online B2B tools. One reason is its group capabilities. It’s extremely easy to search for, join, and engage with relevant professional groups in any select region. Groups are a great way to learn from other professionals, comment, engage in conversation, and create conversation.
LinkedIn also gives its users the ability to publish articles to the site. You can set up your publishing area, and post consistently, sharing your expertise and success. And, you can create conversations.
One form of online engagement that has been on the rise is Twitter chats. Within Twitter chat, users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a topic using a hashtag (#). Typically, the host of the chat will ask questions with “Q1, Q2” and prompt answers from those participating. What’s the best part? There are Twitter chats out there for almost every industry you can think up.
Facebook Groups and Events
Facebook can be an resourceful tool for business groups and events. In a group, you can share updates, photos, and documents, or message other members to discuss ideas. It’s also a place to set up networking events for members and others they might want to invite within your geographic area and beyond.
Whether you simply interact with an online community or create one of your own, it’s an efficient way to support and enhance your marketing, networking, and face-to-face communication.