Networking isn’t just about meeting and chatting face to face at events, it can be done using various other platforms; namely social media, which offers so many ways to communicate. Now that we are fully immersed within the digital age, what better way than to incorporate social media with networking…

Attending an event? Ask the organiser for the attendees list so that you can select those you want to meet and then search their Twitter tag in order to Tweet them prior to the event, saying ‘you’re looking  forward to meeting them’- a great ice breaker when you finally do meet face to face.

FOLLOW ALL EVENTS Follow all events you plan to attend on their social media platforms- most common tend to be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and in some cases Instagram and you can then ‘retweet’, ‘like’ and comment in the lead up to include yourself in the mix and let others know you plan to attend, which may then strike up conversations beforehand, giving you more to talk about at the actual event.

Tweet at the event itself Tag in both the organisers and guests you’re with and include a photograph/room shot as an added bonus!

Tweet and connect via social media after events you have attended to say it was great to meet that person – follow up with a private message such as “would you like to meet for a coffee?” or “I’d really like to explore how I can help you further going forward”

Be efficient We all know social media is often a job in itself, so make it easier for yourself by downloading the apps to your phone, so that you can connect and interact on the go.

Manage your social media Via platforms such as Hootsuite and Buffer, which are free to download and use for a certain amount of platforms and businesses- well worth exploring, and what’s more there are also apps for these too for on-the-go ease.

Connect via LinkedIn  with those on your target list and don’t ‘cold connect’, send a polite message /introduction/follow up message to those you invite to accept you and try to ensure you only connect with those you have had some form of contact with prior.

social media profiles Always have a professional head-shot picture on your social media profiles and never use a selfie style shot or even worse no photo at all- people often think you are spam if they don’t see a picture of someone human!

Keep your profiles professional  And regularly updated, people buy people as we know, so remember to add a little about your interests/hobbies so people can attempt to find commonalities, which will in turn, help you build healthy and genuine business relationships.

I’d like to finish with a quote from social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk, “When people are using their devises, its probable that almost half are networking on social media”, therefore if you’re not, you’re likely to get left behind, so keep up with your competitors and ensure you are in the mix when it comes to networking via social media- Good luck!