SkillSET Blog
Advice For Pros · December 19, 2022 · AUTHOR: Stanley Bawalan

Opportunities in Online Social Networking for SMBs

The world of networking has changed dramatically over the past few years. Whereas before, people went to conferences and events to meet other professionals in their industry, now they turn to social/business/professional networking platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and SetSchedule. According to a recent survey by BrightLocal, 74% of small businesses in the UK use social media for marketing purposes—and that number is surely higher here in the United States.

Location and industry.

Location is important. So is industry. Location can be used to find people who are close to you geographically, and industry can be used to find people with similar interests.

As an example, let's say you're a writer in San Francisco and want to meet other writers. You might search for "freelance writers in San Francisco" on LinkedIn or Facebook groups and join some of those groups where people are talking about writing-related issues—or even start your own group! Once there, try inviting some of the members out for coffee or drinks so that you can get together face-to-face and make new connections.

Growth of the company.

The company is growing. That's a good thing, right? Well, sure—but it doesn't necessarily have to be.

Growth can come in many forms and not all of them are positive for the business. On one hand, growth could mean that you're doing something right and your business is strong enough to expand into new markets or begin offering more products or services.

Alternatively, if you're not ready for growth yet and don't have proper systems in place to manage it effectively (or worse yet—you've been sloppy with your finances), then additional customers could spell disaster for your business as they leave unsatisfied or even worse: they sue you! Lessons you learn or even direct help you get from your network will surely help you get through a pivotal point in your business

Common interests.

Common interests can be an effective way to identify other people who share your passions, hobbies, and interests. If you’re interested in meeting new people with whom you share a mutual love of music or sports, consider joining an online professional networking site that allows you to connect with people based on their common interests.

Online professional networking sites are ideal for finding new friends and business contacts who share your enthusiasm for specific activities or subjects. In addition to helping you connect with others who share your dedication to specific causes, such as environmentalism or human rights activism, these networks can also help build relationships between individuals in niche industries such as accounting software development (and perhaps even give birth to some unexpected opportunities).

Common connections.

There are many ways a business can find common connections with others. By using networking platforms, you can find industry-specific groups and get involved in them. You can also search for people from your location and then use their profiles as an introduction point for yourself.

You may also want to do some research on what other businesses are doing within your city or state by searching for competitors, finding out who they connect with through their profiles, and then connecting with those people yourself.

It’s also important not to limit yourself when looking for commonalities between two businesses—the more unique it is, the better!

Common acquaintances.

If you know someone who is already connected to the person you are trying to meet, ask them to introduce you.

If they have not yet connected with the person, ask them to make an introduction.

Ask them if they could also ask another friend or colleague if they know anyone else who might be able to help get introductions made (and if so, would it be possible for that second friend/colleague to reach out directly?).

Finally, if this person has no connections at all but does know someone who does have connections - would it be alright for your contact to at least reach out about what exactly it is that you're looking for?

Connecting online with others in your industry can open a lot of doors, but it takes work.

It's easy to get sucked into the internet rabbit holes, but it's important to remember that your time is limited, and you have a lot of work to do. As you focus on building your professional network, remember that the goal is to reach out and connect with others who can help you grow your business. So make sure that every post or comment has a clear purpose—and don't forget: online networking is only one part of your overall strategy!


Message has been sent!