What is networking?
What comes to your mind when you think of the word networking? Because if you don’t know, you are possible omitting the most powerful marketing opportunity you will ever have.
When I heard the word networking, my first thought is that it is ‘system which has all its working parts and together is valuable’. Perhaps not the correct definition, but isn’t that how networking should be? Do you value your Bizmums group for example or any other networking group? I’m sure it holds a value somehow whether that be to obtain information, contacts, support or referrals.
The dictionary defines networking as: “1. connect as or operate with a network. 2. interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts”.
What different types of networking are there?
Public social networks where it is possible to:
– Connect with customers and resolve simple issues.
– Like Facebook and Twitter (as most of you will know), it’s a great way to connect with your customers and prospects.
– Deeper, more focused engagement.
– Including customer communities, for deeper communication and collaboration with customers, and business-to-business networks for communication with partners and business-to-business customers.
– Share knowledge and respond better.
– Internal company communication.
Why we should network
Public social network
* 34% of medium and 27% of small businesses are using social media for business (with a +10% increase year on year)
* 62% of marketers have said that social media has become more important to their marketing campaigns in the last 6 months
* 74% of brand marketers saw an increase in website traffic after investing just 6 hours per week on social media
* Facebook is the number one social marketing tool for brands at 83% (88% target for 2014), followed by Twitter at 53% (target at 64% in 2014)
these figures based on 2012, imagine what they are like now! see more from http://visual.ly/100-social-networking-statistics-facts-2012
* Every week 150,000 attend over 6,000 BNI networking meetings around the world
* The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business. It sits at the heart of a nationwide network of 52 local Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving tens of thousands of business members across the UK
* BizMums has grown from 1 event per month 18 months to go to now hosting 23 across 8 counties of the UK due to the demand from mums in business looking for support
How do we network?
- When going to networking events always be prepared and take everything you need (business cards, leaflets, brochures, product samples etc). Know what your talking about and always under promise. At networking events others are in the same boat as you, so relax and enjoy it and make friends too. Have you read Bizmums networking tips?
- Keep up to date with all social media platforms you are present on and have a basic understanding on how they work. Have a target on the level of posting each day on your profile or page. Join networking pages such as www.facebook.com/wonderwomansemporium who share your photos and pages by engaging. Join groups (like the Bizmums members one) and discuss your business, network via having commenting buddies, sharing advice/help and more.
I’ve found social media a huge help to my business especially in the beginning, i raised just under 3,000 likes in my first year of business and it took 3 months to start generating orders from it (from scratch). I don’t really need to market the business online as much, the likes come from word of mouth and shares and Hootsuite has become a part of my life now. Have you invested into your social media management? I would highly recommend it.
View my social media blog here:
I hope this has given you food for thought, feel free to contact me with any questions from what you have read.
Blissful Baby Gifts Ltd