Face-to-face business networking through social media

Maximise Face-To-Face Business Networking Through Social Media

UK Social Media Statistics 2016 

International business networking groups continue to explore new mediums to communicate. Social networks have been one of the most useful tools that technology has invented. In the UK, majority of the businesses are using social media in any form and consider as a long term part of many inbound marketing strategies and efforts.

However, there are still few sectors that failed to integrate social media into the business properly. As a result, there is an only limited value that is being offered to the consumers. 

Facebook

Statistically, consumers follow businesses on Facebook. It is still the number one social media platform, although you can only see a little increase of percentage users. But, Facebook remains to be on the top spot when it comes to marketing promotion.

For average businesses, you must have to commit paid promotions to Facebook to attract potential customers. Otherwise, you will be wasting your money with non-prospects. 

On the other hand, Facebook continues to modify and getting more sophisticated. The introduction of videos, carousel ads, and brilliant tracking services enables your business to take the advantage of it.

Instagram 

If Facebook only gained a small increase of UK percentage users, Instagram boosts into 14 percent increase. This also shows that Instagram is an additional medium to improve offering and continue driving the growth of your business. However, Instagram has majority younger audience.

Twitter

Twitter has 15 million UK users since 2013 and still going strong. Despite the surge of Instagram’s success, Twitter has more professional and adult audience; that is why most businesses prefer Twitter rather than Instagram. 

LinkedIn 

UK has current 19 million LinkedIn users. LinkedIn also owns regularly updated and permanent press pages. Conversely, LinkedIn is not a typical social network you can find. This site mostly focuses users on being about career factors and basic usefulness. But, it is ideal to reaching from small business networking to global business network groups since most of the LinkedIn users are professional-wise and career-oriented. 

Pinterest 

Fortunately, Pinterest maintains its 10.4 million UK users. Most of the Pinterest users are searching for planning home decorations, holidays, and events. It is still a strong contender since Pinterest is more like a shopping directory.

The growth of social networking site users is that most businesses are using it a promotional tool. For some reasons, majority of the people today are using mobile applications. Digital era is also embraced by most individuals.

Business networking-Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of social networksStrengths And Weaknesses Of Social Networks 

Using social networks might be the most efficient tool in local business networking groups. Many businesses entered the world of social networks hoping for the increase in visibility and gather more prospective clients.

But, there are also certain aspects where social media shows its weaknesses.

Strengths 

Social media platforms grab the attention of potential customers and possible growth of visibility. This is effective if you have compelling and relevant content. Using social media also enables you for quicker response. It is also cheaper when compared to traditional advertising and promotional activities.

Through social networks, it also boosts links indirectly to website contents. This helps in improving traffic results and online sales. You can deliver an improved customer service and helps you generates leads.

In Facebook, expect that you will have a wide reach. In LinkedIn, you can easily connect with the business professionals.

Weaknesses 

One of the downsides of using social networks is that you will need to commit resources. This includes managing your social media presence, feedback response, and new content production. Using social media is also unpredictable. You will have difficulties in quantifying your Return on Investments (ROI) and the value of one channel to another. 

If you have failed to respond to your prospective customers, it may damage your reputation. That is why several businesses are considering outsource services to maintain their social media accounts. Hence, it is an additional expenditure for your company.

The strengths and weaknesses of social media to networking your business online can only be determined depending on your success campaign rates. If your recent marketing strategy is doing well, tweaking it can perhaps give you better results.

Business networking-Exploring the social networking boom

Exploring The Social Networking Boom 

Social networking alone can be a crucial stage for businesses. It would be an error if you simply rely on channelling yourself in the platform. But, how do you maximise the impact of social media platforms to real-world business networking?

Reconnaissance 

Attending business networking events in London and other related activities is one of the most efficient methods to meet potential clients. If you have plans of attending one, make sure that you have conducted few kinds of research first. Be prepared. Evaluate the delegate list. Use the search engines to know the people. This will give you an idea which person you are going to approach during the event. Thus, it can save you time and effort. You can also focus your attention. 

Profile 

Positioning yourself as an expert in a certain field creates a better profile. You can start your own blog or offer to write as a guest blogger for another site. You can also offer to write comments and share tips and experiences. Just make sure you know your expertise and it is relevant to the said industry. This will enable you to target the right audience for your business. 

Connect 

Building an initial relationship online is possible. That is what social networks are all about. Start using these platforms to connect until you establish a solid relationship. 

Share 

Sharing is the main goal of social networking. Before going to an event, make sure you include a research about tips, business issues, or topical stories to tell. This will help you build your confidence and valuable to others. You should also learn to listen. This will not just widen your knowledge; it also helps you understand other people.

Engage 

Networking your business during events does not end from there. It must continue. Connect with these people via social networks. Maintain a good relationship and remain engaged with these individuals. However, you should be meaningful. Avoid spamming.

Business networking is a long-term process of approach. It requires time, effort, and patience. You should view your networking activity as a continuing strategy. Plan, perform, nurture, evaluate, and integrate. This will drive to lead you regularly and attain promising return of investments. But, you must also be ready to set something worthy on your networking before expecting positive returns of it.

Sources:

Social Networking In The UK Stats – July 2011, Lollipoplocal.co.uk

Online Business Networking And Social Networking, NIbusinessinfo.co.uk

5 Ways To Maximise Your Face To Face Networking With Social Media, Businesswest.co.uk  

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Clwyd ProbertMaximise Face-To-Face Business Networking Through Social Media