As an emerging business you are naturally engaging with your business community on a regular basis. You are part of your local chamber of commerce, a leads group, a marketing annex, meetup groups, trade association, rotary club or even your local toastmasters club. This one-on-one contact is vital to your business and your development as a professional. No man is an island, and connecting with people makes this happen.
If you are not in any of these groups or associations, I urge you to sign-up up today!
Once you have built a community for yourself, created a real-life presence, now it’s time to take it online. Here are a few steps and tips on how to create an online presence with your real world activities.
1. Let your online community know where you are going to be.
If you have a weekly chamber meeting you attend, post it on your Facebook Page or tweet about it. Invite other to attend as well.
2. Post pictures and video of the event
Post images and/or video of your events and tag your friends and colleagues (don’t forget to ask their permission first).
3. Check into the event on Foursquare and Facebook
See out other that are also attending the event and make it a point to say hello.
4. Tweet about the event with the appropriate hashtag
Hashtags are ways for you to spread, share and organize your tweets around a central theme, in this case an event. If the event doesn’t have one, suggest one to the organizer. Movements.org has a great article about how to use hashtags effectively to organize events and campaigns.
5. Collect people’s social information
Let them know you will be requesting them via various social networks, and do so as quickly as you can. You can ask them to follow your brand as well. With this small step you have now converted a stranger into a follower.
6. Host a Tweetup
Twitter meetups, or Tweetups are real life gatherings organized via twitter using #hashtags. Tweetups provide an opportunity to meet people in your industry who are very active online and can be valuable assets to your network. To read about the do’s and don’ts of hosting a tweetup read this great article on Mashable.com.