I sure do! One of the best ways to maintain or build your social network is through face to face networking events. Events are great for building your social network as you get the chance to meet a large group of people face to face in order to build better business relationships.
I love attending new networking events where I get the chance to meet a large group of prospects and networking partners. I might spend a few moments talking to these prospects at the event or end up speaking with a potential networking partner for half the event.
Networking events were not always this way. Before I started using LinkedIn and Facebook on a regular basis I was not able to keep in touch with a large group of prospects for more than a certain period of time.
I would meet 20 people at an event and more than likely only stay in touch with 2-3 people. Now with social networking I can usually stay in contact with 10-15 people. That is what enables me to make the statement that I never need to cold call again. Why do that when I have such a great warm market.
After every event I would connect with people on Facebook and LinkedIn. Now that I maxed out my Facebook personal page I mainly use LinkedIn to connect with people. It has made my social networking relationships that much better to be connected with so many people that I have had live contact with at past networking events.
Additionally, networking events have proven to be a great way to stay connected with those that I meet online. I meet someone online and get to know them a little. Then we meet at a networking event and it is like we are old friends. It is amazing how much you feel like you know someone just from meeting them online.
For me networking events are part and parcel of a great social networking strategy. I use these two strategies almost exclusively to bring in business. The key for me is that I can now follow up with more people than ever before. Using social networking and networking events has led to additional business opportunities and an enhanced relationship with my clients.