Before the meteoric rise of social networking, it was a lot harder to keep in touch with your network – you were basically limited to face to face meetings, phone calls and emails.
But today we’re blessed with a myriad of tools to help us maintain a good level of contact with the people important to us. Here are some of the best tools for you to keep in touch and regularly communicate with the people in your network who are important to you:
1. Connect with them on LinkedIn
Most professionals are on LinkedIn, and most people – if they’ve met you, either online or in person – are happy to connect with you on LinkedIn. Turn on the LinkedIn update feature and use this to prompt you to make contact with your network. For example, a new profile photo, a promotion or a new job.
2. Connect with them on Twitter
Twitter is a very easy medium to connect with someone – you don’t normally need to ask permission, just follow them. Do make sure you add them to a list which you check daily for tweets from them. A tool such as Tweetspinner can help you tweet even when you’re snowed under with work.
3. Google Feedburner
4. CRM system
When people talk about CRM systems, most people think about big company databases and joined-up enterprise software. There are many great CRM systems out there, for every company’s size, shape and budget. Personally, I’m a fan of Capsule CRM – particularly because it can be fully integrated with social media and email marketing service MailChimp. Use your CRM system, or even a simple spreadsheet, to prompt you to make contact with the most important people in your network.
5. Microsoft Outlook
We often forget that some of the tools we need to maintain contact are right under our noses. Use the recurring task feature to set up reminders to contact the people who are important to you.
6. RSS reader
Use an RSS reader, such as Google Reader, to inform you of updates or changes to someone’s website or blog. This way you’ll always be ready to make an insightful comment, or contact them with a message relating to their changed website.
7. Google Alerts
Set up Google Alerts for the names of people who are important to you. This way you’ll get to see whenever they’ve been quoted or written about – you can then use this as an excuse to get in touch.
What tools do you use to stay in touch with your network?
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