Okay. So you’ve just come back from a networking event and have a pile of business cards you’ve collected from all the folks you’ve interacted with. Now what?
In the past, we might have input the information into our computer’s address book and emailed everyone a followup letter. And while this is a great idea, once the initial followup action has been taken, that’s where it may end for a number of your contacts. Let’s face it…. life is busy and out of sight means out of mind.
A more current method is to conduct a search for your new contacts on all the various social media sites you use: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. (Personally, I check LinkedIn first, as that’s my “go to” professional site. From there, if the contact has a profile page, I can investigate further to see if they have a Twitter account, etc., it will usually be listed.) Of course, if they have their social media URLs listed on their business cards the searching is unnecessary, but due to space restraints often this just isn’t the case.
When requesting to add them to your network, be sure to write your followup letter within the body of your request. (One of my pet peeves is receiving LinkedIn requests that use the generic request sentence. Be creative and personal your message instead!)
Once connected, it’s easier to keep consistent communication with everyone. When you see your contact’s posts, you can comment, “retweet”, or “like”, and keep the dialogue going.
And while you’re networking online, don’t forget to connect with people of interest in the discussion groups or “twibes” you participate in.
Lastly, an interesting idea I ran into recently, re: business/calling cards, is the “social trading card”. It uses smartphone scanner technology (QR), which brings people to a page with all of your websites listed in one spot. An interesting innovation that you may want to consider purchasing for large job fairs, networking events, or conferences. For details, see: https://www.meet-meme.com
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