How to Use Social Media for Business Networking

By on June 17, 2019

 Image courtesy of Pixabay

Social media is a vast and troubled territory, but if you play your cards right, it opens doors to a wider audience with an increased interest in your business. Social media channels and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more can make or break a business, so they shouldn’t be ignored.

Still, today we won’t be talking about how to get more customers using this medium. We’ll talk about getting a network of supporters (other businesses, investors, advisors, and so on) that will prove extremely valuable in time.

The Real Purpose of Social Media

If you don’t see the power of a well-developed network, think of it as a safety net that can catch you when times are difficult. Also, due to the various faces of social media, you now have the amazing and unique opportunity of socializing and following the best business people in your niche.

This gives new entrepreneurs the chance to see how business is done and learn from experts by observing their moves and posts on different channels. For instance, if you follow an account like Susan Caine or Gary Vaynerchuk on LinkedIn, there is plenty of useful information to get.

Sadly, not everyone knows how to use these channels for the good of their business. Let’s take the LinkedIn case as an instance: most people who own an account won’t accept/send requests unless they know the other person. This limits their reach and completely undermines their chances to be inspired by the great minds of business.

The purpose of social platforms is to get in touch with new people and forge new connections.

When you talk to people that have the same passions and interests you feel supported and motivated. Not to mention that you never know when you may find a new and exciting project!

So, make sure to change your approach to social media networking by loosening up your request acceptance policies. Also, actively seek influencers in your field and follow them (they won’t friend you on their own).

How to Create Trust

Even in the days of high-end technology and fast internet, the main element that’s required for a healthy business relationship is trust. You need to trust your suppliers that they’ll do their job and customers need to trust your products/services are up to standards.

Now, to create a solid business network based on trust, you need to show you care about the online community (i.e., social platform) you’re currently using. To do this, post high-quality content that helps the readers in a way or another. After all, just like you want to follow the best in business, maybe others can benefit from your wisdom.

You should also engage in conversations via chat or comments, and provide actionable advice where possible.

No Hard Sell

If you only see social media as a chance to promote your business and services/products, you are missing out.

While it is natural to want to tell customers and leads about the amazing opportunities you’re offering, it’s important to do it in a way that’s not aggressive or overly self-promotional. Otherwise, people will think you enjoy tooting your own horn, so they’ll avoid connecting with you.

Focus on quality content that helps other business people, and try to offer tips and tricks of the trade without making it look like a sale.

Is Networking Really Worth It?

Networking is a long-term game, so it can get a bit difficult to continue playing it when you don’t see immediate results. Even more, you can always take a business online course and get the information you need from there.

However, when it comes to inspiration and innovation, the only path is through socialization. Watching other people grow their business can (and will) trigger new ideas for your own and this leads to a stronger company with a lot more to offer.

So, don’t give up on networking and socializing! We know it requires time and focus, which are scarce resources these days, but, in the long-run, it is worth it!

About Oli Kang

Oli is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses.com.au.
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