Networking Tips – Tips on Keeping Track of your Contacts on LinkedIn after BlissdomCA
I came back on Sunday from attending Blissdom Canada, the largest and most influential social media conference for bloggers in Canada. Its a conference that brings together social media consultants, community managers, bloggers and brand representatives. You meet a lot of people. You reconnect with many more people. It’s tree days of networking, socialising and creating new friendships. It is also a place where you go to meet new potential clients. It is where you need to go to network professionally. Its a place where you shake a lot of hands and exchange many a business card.
I am going to say it… I find the exchanging of business cards almost archaic. It just seems so old school to me. I have said it… I am not a fan. In this day and age of smartphones, tablets and laptops, going digital seems the way to go for me. Why? Because I have gotten pretty tired of corralling the stacks and stacks of business cards.
They are small, they come in all sorts of different sizes: 2”x3.5”, those tiny moo cards (cute but very annoying because they always slip away or get caught between other cards), glossy post cards or some people have half page or full page media cards. There should be a standard shape (that is difficult I know). The writing can be too small or the information can be out-dated. You can certainly find some pretty snazzy looking cards but what do I do with them in the long rung? I usually wrap them up and tie an elastic band around them and pitch them into ‘the box’.
So post-conference, this is what I see: a pile of brochures, some business cards, some more promotional material etc. When I sift through it all, I throw away a lot. I keep the information that I need to write follow up blog posts and then I review the business cards that I did pick up.
I go to my Facebook profile and see if I am friends or in groups with the bloggers that I had met at BlissdomCA. I connect with those bloggers and send a quick “hello and a pleasure meeting you… let’s keep in touch” message. I like keeping track of bloggers there because that is where they are… on social media. They are likely to be on Facebook at some point in time in the day so I know if I send them a PM (personal message), they will more likely see it then an email.
I have a whole different way of keeping track of brands that I want to keep in touch with: LinkedIn. That is my go to contact management system. I love keeping track of my professional contacts where they should be in my professional network. So those people that are less likely to be on social media on a minute-by-minute basis are likely to be in the world’s largest Rolodex.
At the conference there was a mini-session that discussed LinkedIn and how to use it to contact PR agencies. I was fortunate enough to throw in my two cents during this session. That is because the moderator knows that I have been long time devotee of LinkedIn and I have given workshops and seminars on LI as well as written about what your profile picture, the difference between recommendations and endorsements etc. I specifically use it to keep track of contacts because I like that I have all their contact information right at my fingertips but more importantly, it helps me a few key things about my contact:
5 things you learn about your contacts on LinkedIn
to make better connections:
1. You can see their face and therefore be able to track them down in a crowded room of bloggers. If you look like your picture (please avatars or company logos), you can be reminded of the actually person that you spoke to at lunch, in the call at the micro-session.
2. You will know their title and company. If you are trying to connect with a person at Brand A and find that the contact that you have been given is actually from the PR Agency, then you will find out who hires and works with bloggers. However, if you are now connected to Person B at Brand A but they are not the right person, they maybe able to connect you to the RIGHT person at the company. You know what they do and you know where they work… Key information when networking.
3. They now have all of your contact information in front of them. They can find your blog, your social media handles and all the important information about you just by looking at your profile. So if you meet Person B at Brand A and they want to know if you have worked with other big brands, they will see that right there on your profile and when they want to contact you about their next big campaign, they’ll know exactly where to get a hold of you.
4. Networking is all about making connections with other people and keeping you and your product ‘top of mind’. By updating your status on LinkedIn, your new connection will be able to see what you are up to. So keeping them abreast of what you do best is a great way of keeping you ‘top of mind’ for that next campaign.
5. LinkedIn is the largest social NETWORKING platform with over 300 million people subscribed and two people joining every second. That means that it is also the place to find more contacts when you need to find Person C. LinkedIn can help you expand your network so you can work more.
You can keep your contacts using many different methods: Rolodex (yes, they still exist), EasilyDo or LinkedIn. Just make sure that you keep track of those great contacts that you made at conference.
This post is part of the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival hosted by Janet Barclay. If you are interested in more posts about Contact Management Systems that other Professional Organizers use please drop by here.
Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.