After you have made an introduction at a networking event, it's your responsibility to continue to stay connected. There are a variety of ways to reach out and stay up to date with what's happening with your network.
Communication is the absolute key to staying connected. You might consider blogging about something you are working on or make posts online in other social networks. However, this only a one way communication sharing what you are doing, not about them.
You will need to find a mutual way of relating to everyone you are networking with. Remember, it's about giving and sharing, always.
Here are a few ways to interact with your network:
- Engage your audience by responding to blogs. The comment section of your blog allows them to post and express their opinion. You should also be posting comments on their blog if they have one.
- Create a survey - Collect valuable data about certain subjects to help you get clear on what your network wants or needs. This is an incredibly important tool if you are designing program, products or events. It will save you time so you don't do things you think they want but know they want.
- Email Marketing - Although it would seem that it's a one way communication tool, encourage all your readers to submit a reply if they have questions or have comments. One of the tools I use actually has a comments section similar to a blog.
- Poll Your Audience - Allow the to vote on something that you are campaigning for whether it's a new way of doing things or even if they like something. Audience participation is extremely helpful and will keep them involved.
- Social Media - There are a variety of ways you can meet online to discuss everything from what you are doing to viewing pictures and videos.
- Your Own Networking Group - This is my favorite because you can bring people together that you know and introduce them to one another.
- Conference Calls - Why not bring people together on the phone to continue to network?
- Create a Social Network - You can also have your own community online and invite people to join in the conversations. Post hot topics and have discussion groups.