In-Person Networking- It’s Still as Important as Ever
Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram make it easy to connect to customers and clients. You create posts that show what your brand is about. Followers relate to or believe in your brand and reach out to form a connection. Through likes, comments, and direct messages, a high genuine engagement rate leads to more sales. It’s a flawless process, right?
Although a strong digital marketing presence is crucial in today’s business climate, it shouldn’t be your only focus. Studies show that authentic, in-person networking is as important as a digital presence. Why is in-person networking so beneficial when we have social media?
Clear communication relies on visual cues. The way you stand when talking to someone, your eye contact, and the amount you smile affect their perspective of you. Often, these things allow the person you are conversing with to fully understand what you’re saying. There’s more clarity available in person than in text only. Consider the effort Presidents put in to meet with other leaders in person. Think of the massive industry conferences that allow you to learn from and socialize with each other. There is immense value in communicating in person.
Have you ever noticed how much of your competition is on Instagram? Anyone can start a profile, grow followers, and claim to be an expert. You get real credibility when people see you in-person demonstrating your expertise. That could mean giving a speech, leading a workshop, or simply socializing at a networking event. You can show that you’re the real deal in person, not just another account with stolen infographics.
In-person networking leads to the people you interact with remembering you. Do you remember every profile you browsed through on LinkedIn? Likely not. However, you will remember the conversation you had with that potential client about their upcoming holiday. They will remember you because you showed interest in their needs specifically. The connections you make in-person are far more memorable than digital ones.
Here are some jaw-dropping stats to prove how necessary in-person networking is to your business:
- Although 59% say they’re using technology for digital meetings, 84% prefer to meet in-person.
- 85% believe that in-person conferences lead to stronger and more meaningful business relationships.
- Every dollar that a company spends on business travel for networking purposes results in $12.50 ROI.
All that being said, you need a healthy mix of both in-person and digital networking for success. Exclusively focusing on one over the other will not help you reach your success potential. When you connect with someone in-person, follow up with them digitally. When you connect with someone digitally, let them know about an event you’ll be speaking at or attending. These two mediums complement and support each other. Using them cohesively in your marketing strategy will yield better results than focusing on one or the other.
If you need help creating a marketing strategy that incorporates both in-person and digital elements, contact us today!