Online business networking is often best when it’s condensed into a small period of time. That way, you don’t get sucked into Facebook, Twitter or other distracting social media sites. Thirty minutes is a day is really all you need to do a great job of boosting your B2B network.
So how do you do it?
==> Check Your Desired Connections for Updates
Keep a list of people with whom you want to build a connection. Locate them on Twitter, on Facebook or on LinkedIn.
Check for updates from these people on a daily basis. Comment on their Facebook updates and @reply or retweet their tweets. Build up a connection with them gradually, using social media connections.
In time, you’ll be able to reach out to them for introductions, to schedule a meeting or even to close a sale.
==> Post Tweets and Facebook Updates
If you’re using Twitter or Facebook professionally, then post an update on either or both of these sites.
Make your posts as relevant to your audience as possible. Use these sites to build your credibility.
==> Reach Out to Someone New
Try to reach out to someone new every day. When you reach out, your goal is to help. Look for ways to offer value to people you know or people you don’t know.
One great way to do that is through LinkedIn answers. Answer questions for people, then see if you can connect with them.
You can also hop on Twitter and look through the people who’re on hashtags that you also follow. See if you can connect with them.
Look through your pile of business cards and see if you can find some of the people you’ve met in person on social media sites.
In other words, be proactive about building your network.
==> Ping an Old Contact
Look through your old contacts and look for people that you haven’t touched base with in a while. Shoot them a quick message.
If you get in the habit of doing this regularly, you’ll have a much stronger base of contacts than most people. Instead of letting your contacts die off, you’ll keep them alive and well.
==> Move Online Connections Offline
After you’ve built up some goodwill with someone online, see if you can meet them for lunch sometime.
Online connections are one thing. It’s great to have a lot of online B2B connections. But in order for those connections to amount to anything, they really need to be converted into offline connections.
Try to have lunch with someone different every day. As the renowned networking expert Keith Ferazzi says: “Never eat alone.”
Doing strong online networking doesn’t have to take up your whole day. Follow these tips and in just 30 minutes a day you’ll strengthen your network, meet new people and lay a solid foundation for any kind of professional support you need.