The idea of this concept is that value is generated by making connections, rather than pumping widgets out of the tail end of an assembly line.
Ever been to a networking event? After attending a few, I realised that it gives you the chance to relax and socialize for a few hours and better still, it counts as work. These events are all about mutual benefits. At a time when working on your start-up can include working long into the night, at a networking event, you’re marketing your business and yourself, and best of all you are creating connections. How can you offer a service or help another? Every business sees a time when you may need help or advice, and at this time, you will want to have built a strong network. The knowledge and help of a community will pay dividend.
Knowing someone personally motivates the investor to plunge into starting something with you, giving you a contract or referring someone who needs what your business provides. Your own business may expand by meeting people personally. If not, it will at least expand your industry knowledge. This can always lead to future opportunities for both parties, in terms of help, advice and business.
Social Media Contacts
For many small businesses, connecting with customers, prospects, suppliers, and others via social media can deliver tremendous value. Today, most famous social media platforms allow businesses to run ads that attract specific groups of users based on what information they include in their profiles. Traditionally, the goal in media planning was to minimize wasted advertising, which was achieved by reducing the quantity of advertising sent to consumers who are unlikely to purchase or have an interest in their product and who are not active in the category. This gave birth to the idea of target advertising. As discussed in my article Social Media and Happy Customer, this concept has proven to be a very effective way to reach out to the right customers through social media.
For almost every small-business owner, the potential for value is created by making or strengthening connections. I am going to put a little sharper focus on this today. Ever noticed that giant social media platforms like Facebook achieve billion dollar valuations before they do anything with their connections to actually make money. I’ll point out that these enterprises derive much their value by the sheer number of creations they create. Today’s economy is a connection economy and the value of connections in this is indisputable. Are you participating in and benefiting from the connection economy is the main question. I have shared below some tangible ways you can take advantage of the connection economy today.
Tip: Take a look at the business cards you received and email those people about what you spoke about while it is still fresh in your mind. After networking events, staying connected is the next important step. Send a “thank you” or “nice to meet you” note, no later than one week after the meeting.
It wouldn’t make any sense to consider established customers and brand new prospects in the same way. In other words, to use social media in the connection economy, you need to understand who you are trying to reach and what your goal is when you reach them. Further, you might establish social media relationships with suppliers as a way to improve your competences; suppliers may, for example, use their social media channels as pipelines for insider tips and other useful industry information.
Taking this a bit further, there are some social media platforms whose purpose it is to create and enhance relationships between businesses. Connecting with similar small businesses can be extremely helpful, for example, when you’re trying to determine which cloud services would best suit your business. Also, almost all large corporations today have built in-house networks. These platforms link employees working in different locations. Small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of readily available tools to facilitate collaboration. Companies even have custom social networks, to connect its staff in the U.S., for example, with employees in Europe and Asia. This not only helps form better business relationships, it makes possible the sharing of best practices across cultures. If this sounds interesting, contact HyperEffects, for a free consultation on the concept, now.