By Thomas Kupferschmied
Nowadays, most people interact with their contacts both online and offline. However, only few of them have reached a balance that grants effectiveness. As a social media influencer with an active offline presence, I believe I have learned how to combine both dimensions. Here are three ideas for you to achieve this too.
Make a plan
In a world of infinite opportunities, networking needs a strategy too. The key for balancing online and offline networking is considering both dimensions while setting your goals and creating your action plan. Which are your target people? On which platforms can you find them online, and in which environments can you encounter them offline? By the way, a lot of communities live on both channels – Meetups, Tweetups, InterNations and numerous Facebook groups. Make sure you take advantage of these overlaps in your strategy.
Nurture the same relationship both online and offline
As I always tell my clients, in order to raise awareness your brand needs to be communicated through at least five channels – for instance, website, social media, business card, talks and one-on-one consulting. Networking works similarly: if you manage to interact with a person both online and offline, your rapport will be stronger. Therefore, if you encounter someone at an event, follow up on social media. If you interact with somebody interesting online, meet up with them for coffee. If they don’t live in your town, have a Skype chat with them.
Convergence means attending an offline event and posting live about it using hashtags. Tweetups are the perfect example, but you can practice convergence at any event you attend. Hashtags play a fundamental role in this phenomenon. Thanks to them, I met so many interesting people that were attending that very event but I would have never encountered at the event itself. Moreover, hashtags allow for you to not only reach more people, but also generate more interactions, as your readers are sharing the same experience as you: the event you are attending.