Apps for Business Networking: Grow Your Business Connections Even If You're Away From a PC
The world is growing more interconnected by the day. After the world was forced to shut down and rethink the traditional ways of working, and with more employees going remote, it was critical that businesses found a way to grow their networking and connectivity capabilities.
Be it on a desktop computer, a personal laptop, or mobile devices such as a tablet or a phone, business networking matters today more than ever as it opens up the fan of opportunities and connections available to help your business grow and thrive.
In this article, we’ll explore the different apps available that power business networking as aids to grow your business connections, no matter where you are.
Here we go!
Why is Business Networking important?
Business networking helps businesses harness opportunities and connections that might not be found inside the organization itself. Building a robust network of partners, suppliers, clients, colleagues, and more, goes a long way in shaping the success of your business, giving you insight into different fields and industries, information, and other individuals and organizations looking to collectively grow and improve.
More than business networking advantages such as cost-effective form of marketing or real-time engagement, there are clear business networking benefits which undeniably include brand visibility, the higher chance of getting leads, and an effective method to grow your connections.
Business networking types
There are several business networking types that are familiar to most organizations. Here they are:
- Casual contact networks. Large collection of connections that hold no accountability or demands of any sort to its participants. Virtually everyone can join and are often composed of like-minded professionals in similar or overlapping roles who can help open up doors to even more business connections. These general groups usually meet infrequently and informally. In addition, casual contact network meetings typically feature a guest speaker on a common ground concern or topic of interest, offering attendees the opportunity to make valuable connections with other professionals in the community.
- Strong contact networks. Probably the most effective networking opportunity, strong contact networks are tighter and more focused collections of connections from different professions with little to none competition. These highly-focused groups help glean far more effective opportunities and develop a robust marketing referral program. It’s recommended that you strategize your participation in such types of groups as you need to assure your participation in all or most events and meetings they hold. Regular attendance is crucial in developing strong and long-lasting relationships with other contacts of the group.
- Community networks. Community or service groups, while their goal isn’t to strengthen referral networking, it goes a long way in building strong and lasting relationships with your business network. Mainly focused on helping and giving back to the community, these clubs or communities deepen the sense of trust and strong relationships thanks to the common ground humanitarian causes.
- Professional networks. Built by individuals of specific professions, the goal of professional networks is to expand their contact base and share industry and business insights. It’s recommended that you come in ready to provide solutions to problems so clients or prospects find your services beneficial. A straightforward way to discover which professional networks to join is to ask your clients or customers which groups they belong to.
- Social media networks. In social media, it’s all about brand awareness and credibility, so it’s incredibly important to provide valuable content to your connections and followers. With a sound strategy, you can map out realistic goals and a schedule of ways and techniques to develop and deploy your social media strategy. All in all, social media is a great platform to cultivate relationships.
Tips for business networking if you’re away from PC
Covid-19 skyrocketed mobile usage beyond what anyone could have predicted. From becoming the main source of entertainment, to staying connected to family and friends, to a definitive ally to perform work-related tasks, everyone needed to have a mobile strategy for their business to thrive.
While laptops and PCs are still widely used, it’s become increasingly more popular and normal to access multiple work resources through your mobile phone. Whether it’s answering a message on Slack, checking your Gmail or Outlook for emails, connecting to a meeting on Meetup, and more, mobile usage in a work-related setup is here to stay. And grow.
Some of the best tips for business networking in mobile include:
- Define clear goals from the get-go. For example, join groups that are relevant to your business and make their value work for you. Whether it’s joining a webinar, leveraging group learnings, following interesting threads or more, there’s a lot to gain from leveraging business networking apps in your mobile device such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and more.
- Join all the groups that you’re interested in and that you think will grow your efforts. For example, there are several channels on Slack dedicated to key topics that could be of value to your business and profession.
- Remember to help and provide resources to other connections. It’s easier to build trusting and lasting relationships with other professional contacts if they rely on your expertise, your curated content, and relevant industry insights to grow their knowledge. Whether it’s posting an article on LinkedIn or retweeting an interesting blog post on Twitter, you can gain the respect of your network with your engaging content.
- Be social and contact other professionals. Send a direct message to an AI expert, pitch a writer, or talk with a webinar speaker to create a good impression and grow your referrals. Ask as many questions as possible and show genuine interest.
Do you really need all your business networks in your mobile device? Yes, yes you do.
Apps for business networking
The best networking apps for iPhone or Android apps for networking all have one thing in common: they’re all designed to keep you highly connected and engaged.
Now more than ever, as entire business communication efforts are taking place on mobile devices, it’s crucial that companies map out the most modern business communication apps. The truth is, reading your email on your laptop or PC is simply not enough anymore, and new ways of doing business are emerging.
Now, there are team chats, videoconferences, mobile productivity tools, screen sharing, shared drives, and other modern business communication and networking apps that make working more seamless than ever before.
The truth is, with the overload of apps out there, there’s one for every business, but the key is adopting the right tool to meet your unique business needs, whether you’re a small or startup company on a budget or a large, complex enterprise with hundreds of thousands of users to account for.
Here’s a sample of the best apps for business networking:
- LinkedIn. Maybe you’ve heard of it ;) LinkedIn has grown to be one of the most successful and large professional networks in the world, giving mobile users the ability to browse through their professional network feed, post articles, create polls, share content, and manage their company’s profile page with ease. They also have access to analytics, a messaging inbox, and other resources that make the LinkedIn mobile experience more comprehensive.
- Slack. Single workspace that connects users with tools and people so that, regardless of where they’re geographically located, can connect to their work through real-time messaging. Whether it’s through a call or a chat, Slack connects users and allows them to search files and conversations. One of the best features of Slack is the growing number of bots, tools, and integrations so that everyone can get their work done and communicate from their mobile device with ease. Users can join Slack communities to grow their network easily as well as browse for people or user groups in Slack.
- Twitter. Twitter is a real-time information network that connects users to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what they find interesting. Users need to simply find the accounts they find most compelling and follow the conversations.
- Meetup. Meetup is a platform that helps users build local communities to learn new things, find support, pursue opportunities, and more. It connects businesses and brands to their real audiences, driving community growth, customer engagement, and brand awareness. It’s an especially great tool for network management as users manage all meetups in one place with strong analytics.
- Nextdoor Business. Nextdoor is a platform where communities come together and connect. From neighbors, businesses, nonprofits, public agencies, to large brands, there’s truly a connection inside Nextdoor for all. Communities share recommendations, read the latest news, support local businesses, and get updates from public agencies.
- Google Meet. Real-time meetings powered by Google. The video-communication service replaces Google Hangouts and Google Chat and it’s designed primarily for business and office use so colleagues can chat over video and text.
- Microsoft Teams. Chat-based workspace in Office 365 that brings people, conversations, and content together along tools that let teams collaborate and achieve more.
- Zoom. Zoom brings teams together to get more done in a frictionless and secure video environment. The easy, reliable, and innovative video-first unified communications platform provides video meetings, voice, webinars, and chat across all devices and spaces. It includes Zoom Meetings & Chat, Zoom Phone, Zoom Video Webinars, Zoom Rooms & Conference Room Connector, and the App Marketplace.
- Twist. Teamwork communication tool designed to foster mindful communication by giving modern teams a central place to grow their knowledge and have more organized, focused conversations that can be easily accessible by everyone. In Twist, teams can discuss complex ideas and projects from start to finish.
- Mattermost. For privacy-conscious enterprises, Mattermost is a leading messaging workspace solution because it increases productivity while meeting custom security and sovereignty needs. It’s used by approximately four of the top ten banks in the world as well as leading companies in healthcare, transportation, government agencies and more.
- Flock. Communication and collaboration app for modern teams and businesses that empowers teams with a slew of in-built productivity tools such as shared notes, reminders, to-dos, polls. Users can talk to remote teams over audio and video calls. Screen sharing allows teams to collaborate and share information better. Flock is deeply integrated with Google Drive and other popular third-party integrations such as Google Calendar, Analytics, JIRA, Asana, Github, Twitter, Facebook and more.
International business networking relies on authenticity and building trustful relationships with your network. Your network should be made up of groups and individuals who can make your organization better, and with the help of applications that power business networking, it becomes easier to engage connections regardless of geography.
Business networking is an extremely helpful instrument to communicate with clients and business partners, and it should be a key focus for organizations looking to connect in meaningful ways that feel as if there’s no barrier from one connection to the next.
At Scalarr, we take communication and the importance of business networking to heart, and are passionate about using different apps for networking that increase our connectivity such as Slack, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
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