Business Networking consist of a group of like minded business people that recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.
With LinkedIn there are traditionally two different types of networks. LION – LinkedIn Open Networker. These are known to accept all connection requests. And usually they have a large amount of connections. You will also find that some of these has added LION in their header or title.
The other group is known as Strategic Networkers or LamB.
Per definition most Social Networks are Open Network channels. Most have implemented some regulations in their TOS. Beside this you control your Networking settings in the privacy sections.
I focus on how you strategically can use a open network to fit within your window of opportunity. Here are some of the elements that effects this principle;
- The principle of Strategic Networking is to initiate and maintain your professional relationships
- Strategic Networking is critical for controlling your business and window of opportunity
- Summary – add in the 3 key elements in your summary;
a. Who you are
b. Who you help
c. How you help
- Goals – Set your goals
a. Who is in the best positions to help you achieve your goals?
- Story telling – add in a couple of paragraphs in your profile or on company profile that refer back to specific stories about your Hotel;
a. Learn the insider secrets about our Hotels amenities – http://blog.myhotel/amenities
b. Did you forget something home? Here is how we can help – http://blog.myhotel/extras
- Giving – always start out finding out how you can help others first. Start leaving some Social Footprints. This will create World Of Mouth situation, and bring back referrals to your Hotel.
- Trust – is created by follow up and proper response. Here are some follow up techniques;
a. Follow up with new contacts within 48 hours
b. Share articles of interest
c. Ask for their advice or opinion
d. Invite them to your group
e. Send notes during holidays
f. Always send a thank you note when someone assisted you, and especially if they gave you an recommendation
g. Introduce business prospects to each other
- Organize key connections – one of LinkedIn strengths is the ability to organize your connections. You can add tags onto your connections. Last Name, Companies, Locations, Industries and Recent Activities for your connections is organized depending on how your connections has added their personal info into their profile.
a. Your connection window;
b. Add tags to your connections;
- Regular engagement updates
1. Status updates (limit 100 characters)
a. Are you serving your consumers while positioning yourself as the industry expert?
b. Are you providing value and creating brand champions?
2. Group updates
a. Join groups and participate in ongoing discussions, or start a new discussion. Avoid promo and sales links here. But it is ok to provide links that will add value to the group.
b. Create a group, and then send out invites to your network.
- Answer and ask Questions – start adapt some techniques on How To Build Brand Equity With LinkedIn’s Answer and Questions
How To Implement Successful Strategic Networking Techniques
1. Bring your own unique attitude
2. Think of networking as an investment
3. Educate your network so they know where you can help them
4. Have fun
5. Keep your daily goals aligned – focus on at least one action element a day toward initiating and maintaining your network
6. Be present
7. Introduce contacts that can help and bring value to each other
8. Follow up on your contacts
9. Networking is all about giving – start leave your Social Footprints
Q: Have your Hotel implemented some Strategic Networking Techniques?