The next time you go to a seminar or a live event, don’t waste the amazing opportunities that present themselves to build new relationships that can develop into leads or strategic partnerships. The best social media strategy connects to the offline world somehow and live events are an incredible place to do this.
It’s always been a struggle in the past to find a good, non-intrusive way to stay connected to all those great contacts you meet when at an event. Until social media came along, you had to resort to awkward follow up calls and impersonal emails, but that’s all changed now.
Here are a few ways you can improve your networking and your social media strategy at live events
1. When You Get A Business Card, Ask That Person If They Are On LinkedIn. If they are, make sure you make a note on their business card to search them on LinkedIn. This will be your golden follow up tool and will really help you learn more about them.
2. Make Sure Your Profiles Are Updated & Attractive. People will be checking you out to see if you walk your talk so make sure your profiles are up to date and looking professional. Hopefully you already have some great recommendations on your LinkedIn profile for some added credibility.
3. What’s Your Story? Make sure you have your story or “elevator speech” already nailed so that you have it prepared when talking to new connections. It may sound cheesy but impressive credentials aren’t enough; you need to be interesting and memorable. People don’t remember facts but they do remember stories!
4. Follow Up With A Personalized Connection Request. Reach out to your new connections via LinkedIn and be sure to personalize the message with a note mentioning how great to was to meet them at the event. The faster you do this after an event, the better impression you will leave on people. Any little personal fact you can remember and include in your message will earn you extra points!
5. Seek Out Event Branded Twitter Hashtag & Connect With Attendees. Hopefully your event’s promoter is up-to-date with today’s promotional strategies and has designated a special hashtag for the attendees to tweet with. It’s a great idea to not only interact with these people but also put them into a special Twitter list so you can connect with them after the hash tag becomes unused and is no longer searchable.