Networking is not dead. Social networking sites are not taking the place of meeting people face-to-face. But they definitely can enhance it!

In the old days, you met someone at a chamber of commerce event, business open house, or general networking event, and exchanged business cards. Maybe you wrote a little note on the card that mentioned where you met them to help you remember them later. The business card then gets lost (have you cleaned out your car in awhile?) Weeks later, you try to remember their name or their company name. The longer time has passed, the hazier your memory could be.

Flash forward to now. We can use a website like: gist.com to find out if they have a blog, Twitter account, LinkedIn, Facebook account and search form them on Google. It is not a fool proof method, but you would be surprised what you find. Once you find them, you can follow them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, subscribe to their blog and/or send them a friend request on Facebook.

I am not saying that business cards are going out of style. I use them all of the time. After an event, I take any business cards that I have accumulated and enter them into Gist.com. All I need is name, email address and company. I also record any notes into Gist for that person like: “flaming red hair”, “wants me to call on Monday”, or something like: “knows Joe Smith”. Now if I lose the card. I have still have pertinent information.

Once you have connected with them where-ever they are (presuming you are there too of course) you will occasionally see their updates and they will see yours. The key to this is being active. You know what they say: “Out of sight – out of mind”.

Does this work? You betcha! There have been so many times people call me or email me, after I have “liked something of theirs on Facebook.” Or sent out a newsletter. Or posted something on LinkedIn. Sometimes it is years later!

And while I have your attention, please do not add people to your email newsletter just because you met them at a networking event. But do post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn occasionally the instructions on how to subscribe to your newsletter. Let them subscribe to you. You will receive less unsubscribes.

So, we still need business cards, we still need to go to events where we can meet people face-to-face, but now we can connect with them where ever they may be!

Do you need help taking your social marketing to the next level? Give us a call at 216-534-7467.

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