Can you relate to this networking scenario?
Maybe you are like me and you have been to enough local networking events in your community and you are not seeing a return value in attending these type of functions. Each year I try to attend a few local, networking events to see if things have changed over the years. What I find is that the type of people I want to reach out and learn more about are very few and I usually get stuck listening to a sales pitch from someone who desperately wants to make a sale.
Over the past 5-7 years, I have moved more of my time and resouces in the networking postion to places online. I believe I have found more success through name recognition and name connection with the company I work for. I want to connect with people in my own profession, marketing/executive managent as well as in specific industries that my company currently does business in.
Here is where I spend my time and the sites I see as being the most effective for networking? I am hoping to learn more from others and see where others are spending their time online.
LinkedIn – Best place to read and share information updates. The updates really speak volumes about your connections. I see more and more peopel adding their thoughts and comments each day. It is my favorite place to connect with other professionals.
LinkedIn Groups – Wish I could find more value here. I see some of these professional groups as more a sales and popularity initiative. In the end, I connect to a few to stay abreast of the latest developments in a particular group, but I don’t go out of my way to participate everyday with these groups. Has anyone experienced tremendous success in this area?
LinkedIn Blogging Platform – One of the best places to follow other great writers in your profession or industry. Also, have made a lot of new contacts through shared comments. A great way to quickly interact and make connections with great people.
Twitter – Twitter is becoming more of a news feed, but TweetDeck allows me to build Twitter lists where I can quickly target a smaller group of people and read and share information with them. Also, the best people to connect with are those people who have 500 – 10,000 followers. These people typically have a much better audience than someone who has thousands of followers and may/may not connect all of the time. There are exceptions, but if you want to build a better presence, connect with people who write and share information similar to your own.
Twitter Chats – Using a hashtag, many groups meet once a week and go through a question/answer period. You can meet some interesting people this way, but it can be very time consuming with limited return. What is the best part regarding these discussions?
Google+ – It’s Google so I get involved, but I hardly spend much time here. Is there an awesome group that I am not aware of. It seems like it would take years to build up a following on this platform. I need help in this area. Is anyone seeing tremedous success here?
Facebook – Mixing personal and business is not my style. Tried it for awhile, but it is too risky for me. I have my friends, but I limit what I share on this platform. More downside to me than upside. What am I missing about Facebook and networking?
Medium – Would like to see this platform take off. It has potential, but its hard to break through with the other giant social media sites. Have you seen results here?
Email Subscriptions – Getting better in this area. Once people subscribe to your content, it gives you a foot in the door and you are on people’s email feed.
Pinterest – I am warming up to this platform. A great place to grow knowledge in areas like health, fitness, cooking and other interests outside of work. Also, seeing value with respect to marketing conversations.
Ello – Not seeing enough traction to join. Someone give me an example of where you have really seen value here from a networking perspective.
Tublr – Ok, but not seeing enough of our clients on this platform. Show me an example of how you can be better on this platform.
Chat sites – A great place to look for information affecting your company. I check these sites about once a quarter.
Review sites – Yelp, TripAdvisor – -doesn’t affect me directly, but always good to look at from time to time.
Google Alerts – One of the best ways to listen online for specific informaiton regarding your industry, profession and name recognition for your company or yourself. This site helps me share information internally that specifically impacts our company. In addition, I have met some great people through the use of search and “key words”. It is a huge time saver, because the process works all the time, behind the scenes.
What networking sites do you participate in online? (There are hundreds…What other sites would you encourage others to use?)
Where are you seeing the most return for your time?
I am really hoping that others will be willing to share their thoughts on this topic. I want to learn more and I really value people’s experience in this area.