In this new world we as entrepreneurs live and operate in, leveraging online networking is an absolute necessity. The trend towards building and maintaining networks online was already becoming prevalent before the pandemic, and since March, online networking has increased exponentially. There are plenty of ways to build your network online. Leveraging online platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn provide entrepreneurs powerful routes to build networks.

LinkedIn

Young entrepreneur connecting with alumni on LinkedIn
Young entrepreneur connecting with alumni on LinkedIn

There are features on LinkedIn that I believe are completely underutilized. In terms of building a network, nothing is as strong on LinkedIn as the “people” search filters. LinkedIn can immediately connect you with someone you would have never had the chance to meet if you did not leverage online networking.

Alumni Network

There is a reason you attended your respective school, and one of the reasons was to gain access to the alumni network. To leverage this network on LinkedIn, click on your school in your profile, which will bring you to the school’s page. Next, click on “Alumni” and LinkedIn will provide you a tabulated breakdown of the school’s alumni (regions, companies, industries, etc). People who attended the same school as you are much more likely to engage in conversations.

People Search Filters

LinkedIn makes it effortless when searching for people within the desired industries or companies you would like to network with. When using the search bar, be sure to click “All Filters” and narrow down your search as much as possible. When you have a razor focus in searching for people that fit your criteria, you have a much higher probability of successfully creating a meaningful connection. Quality over quantity.

Twitter

Young professional online networking on Twitter
Young professional online networking on Twitter

Twitter is not viewed as a conventional networking platform, but I have found there are many “loopholes” that make it easier.

Follow the Right People

Plenty of people (especially entrepreneurs) use Twitter to spout off ideas, either regarding their current companies or occurrences in the world. You can use Twitter to essentially tap into the thoughts of future connections, making your conversations much more engaging and directed.

Absorb

Many entrepreneurs Tweet out highly valuable articles they digested or wrote themselves. Absorb this information. Before you know it you will be regurgitating some of these ideas in networking conversations.

Whatever online platform you decide to leverage, always remember, nothing will ever beat the value of a firm, non-virtual handshake.

Have any more unconventional online networking tips for entrepreneurs? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.