Having a strong online network has increased in importance as companies have been operating fairly lean these days and everything is being done in the virtual world. This means many businesses have relied upon already established relationships that have proven fruitful versus trying something new and shiny. Your professional network can open a lot of doors for you, even indirectly. Here we take a look at several ways to grow your online network in 2021.
Host/Attend Virtual Events
Virtual events have taken the place of in-person events in almost every instance and this is a trend that may continue for some time. Networking during these events can actually be quite easy, as many event holders have incorporated profiles, live chat and designated chat rooms to encourage networking. While building a relationship online may not be your preference, there is a great deal of opportunity here.
Choose Your Platforms
The first thing you’ll want to do is determine which platforms your target audience utilizes most and create company and personal profiles on each. You’ll also want to establish company pages on all of the major networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and YouTube. This will help to improve your search rankings and ensure potential customers will find you.
Optimize Your Profiles
When developing your company profiles there are several pieces of information you’ll want to include. Be sure to provide contact information that allows prospects to get in touch with you using their preferred method. You’ll also want to include a detailed description of your company and its services. Click here for more tips on how to optimize your social media profiles.
Promote Across All Channels
If someone follows you the first thing you should do is reach out to them with a thank you message that directs them to visit your website or view your other social pages. Include links to make the process as easy as possible. Content will vary depending on which platform you’re posting to and you want to give them the opportunity to view everything you have to offer.
Social Sharing Buttons
Social sharing buttons should be included on every piece of content that you produce. This makes it easy for people to repost your blogs which can dramatically increase your reach. The fewer clicks needed for someone to share your content, the better.
Share Valuable and Entertaining Content
Valuable content is of course at the foundation of any successful inbound marketing campaign. Make sure you use a variety of media such as video, infographics, written blogs and webinars. While the majority of your content should be educational you’ll also want to include entertaining posts, human interest pieces and news releases.
Run Social Only Promotions
Offering an incentive for people to follow your social pages is an effective way to drive traffic. Many companies offer discounted or free services for those that follow their pages. You can also offer promotions that are only available for sign up on your company pages. This will not only increase your following, it will get your prospects foot in the door.
Follow Your Audience
One of the best ways to build a target audience is to follow those you wish to sell to. In many cases people will follow you back without even thinking about it. Even if the interest level is low to begin with, you’ll have many more opportunities to convert them through your content.
Interact With Prospects And Customers
Interactions come in many different forms, reciprocating and encouraging these interactions is what will bring notoriety to your posts. Be sure to participate in any conversations that start within the comment sections on your posts. You’ll also want to like and share your target’s posts. This will encourage them to do the same and keep your company at the top of their mind. An easy way to encourage interactions is to pose a question along with your blog posts.
Join Discussion Groups
Discussion groups are one of the easiest ways to increase your reach and put your content in front of a highly targeted audience. Many groups have thousands, even millions of members and every time you post to them you have the opportunity to reach them all. Be sure not to inundate your groups with messages and as a best practice you only want to share your company blogs with the groups.
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