For anyone who is currently involved in the world of marketing, including business owners, social networking has almost exclusively taken on a Web-based meaning. This is not bad; in fact, social networking is one of the most important tools in the marketing toolbox. Anybody who has worked with me, followed my blog and Twitter postings or attended one of my speaking engagements knows that I am a huge advocate for online social media and networking.
Although online social networking is a great tool, it is important to not forget the time-tested advantages of traditional networking. In fact, the reason why online networking is so successful is that in its basic form, it is the same thing, just on a mass scale.
To clarify, the aim of online networking is to create and maintain relationships. While there are several ways to accomplish this, the basic idea is that you maintaining two-way conversations with publics on a large scale. Traditional social networking is the same thing, except on a smaller, more intimate and human scale.
“It’s not what you know, but who you know” still applies today. In order to take advantage of every chance to grow your brand, you should be actively networking every chance you get.
Here are some ideas for increasing your traditional social networking efforts:
Join a Business Networking Group
Business networking groups are chapters that meet, usually once a week, that allow members from diverse business sets to meet and share information on their businesses. These groups provide their members a forum for referring business and tapping into each other’s different spheres of influence. There are several groups nationally; I have found great success with Business Networking International. (www.bni.com)
Attend a Workshop
There is a lot to be said for workshops. Not only are they great educational opportunities, but they also provide a great chance for you to meet and network with those actively involved in your field.
Organize or Speak at a Seminar
You are an expert on your field and you should let people know about it. Seriously, if you are in business, you obviously have knowledge in your field, and in turn, there is an audience for that knowledge. One of the greatest ways to network is to share the knowledge you have with those around you. You never know who is in attendance.
These are just a few ideas about how to increase your traditional networking efforts. Although the Web is transforming the world of marketing, it in no way means that traditional efforts should be neglected or forgotten. For more information on how you can increase your networking efforts, traditional or otherwise, continue to browse my Web site www.srj.net. Better yet, try the old-fashioned way and give me a call at 214-528-5775.