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How to Bring the Power of Social Media to Networking Events

This post was first published by Alice Sol on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Social media can be a powerful tool during networking events. We spend so much time in front of computers and on social media that, now more than ever, it’s important to remind ourselves how a little face time can go a long way — and I’m not talking about the Facetime app on your iPhone.

Smartphones have become a part of our everyday lives. Let’s face it, without an Internet connection we often feel disconnected from the world at large. Many believe that the millennial generation is too concerned with and dependent on technology. But maybe there’s a middle ground — a combination of interpersonal communication and social media that strikes the right balance and offers the best of both worlds.

Events are a perfect place to use social media as a tool to help build relationships. As a PR agency, March often works with clients to develop social strategies during speaking events or conferences. Let’s take a look at some ways to combine face-to-face interactions with modern technologies to build long-lasting and fruitful business relationships.

1. Speaking Opportunities and Live Tweeting: Engaging live audiences in-person is a great way to deliver a message. By putting a hashtag on your presentation or offering different statistics and encouraging people to tweet them, you can amplify that message substantially.

Live tweeting provides a platform for both attendees and other interested parties around the world to engage with brands and thought leaders. Not only can people at the conference update their colleagues on important presentations and demos as they see them, but those following the event via Twitter can contribute questions and feedback, furthering the interaction

2. Networking Events and LinkedIn: Networking events offer great opportunities to meet and engage with other interesting and innovative people in your field. But what happens if you don’t have a business card on-hand? Or even if you do, how about a great follow-up? LinkedIn, whether accessed via computer or mobile app, can help to build on valuable professional connections that started with a handshake in person. Instead of exchanging email addresses, LinkedIn streamlines this process.

3. Meeting in Person and Apps: There seems to be an app for everything these days. As someone who is “directionally challenged,” I rely on my iPhone way too much to get from place to place. Aside from Instagraming city skylines and catching up on tweets, I sometimes overlook just how beneficial apps can be when it comes to meeting people, or more importantly, remembering the person you just met.

There are numerous apps to help organize your contacts and make it easier to develop those relationships once you’ve made that initial contact. Crumb Trail is a great app for this because it incorporates contact information from other social profiles, such as Facebook. What is especially helpful about this app is that it can record the location where you met a specific individual.

These are just a few of my favorite ways to combine face-to-face interactions with technology. What are yours?

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