Networking is key to your company’s growth. Whether it’s meeting new business partners or potential clients, it is important to insert yourself into your community and join the conversations taking place in your industry.
Of course, the necessary next step to making connections is keeping them. Fortunately, the Internet has given us an easy way to do this. Long gone are the overflowing rolodexes or cumbersome address books; in their place are e-mail contact lists and social networking sites such as LinkedIn.
LinkedIn, more so than its competitors Facebook and Twitter, was developed with professionals in mind. It serves as both your online business card and partial resume. Perhaps its most important feature is that it allows you to keep in touch with other professionals quickly and easily. In the time it takes to make one phone call to an associate in your industry, you can catch up with at least five people in your network using LinkedIn.
The important thing to remember with LinkedIn is to stay on top of it. Each time you make a new professional connection, search for them on LinkedIn and add them to your network.
Keep your profile current with the latest developments in your professional life. Update your network on new activities in your professional life. For example, if you are planning to attend a conference or trade show, write a status update to let others in your network know. It may present you with the perfect opportunity to connect with someone face-to-face. Also, keep up with what others in your network are doing. In about five minutes per day, you can learn about new developments within your network, update your own status, and make a connection with someone you met last night at an event.
Moral of the blog post: if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, start one and see how easy it is to keep up with your contacts and grow your network. If you are already on LinkedIn, make sure to keep it updated and use it to its fullest potential. There are many ways to integrate your current social media tactics into your LinkedIn profile, so take advantage of them all and reap the rewards.