by Jane Johnson
Make connections that matter thanks to these five business networking tools
The business world is all about making connections—with customers, potential customers, experts in your industry, and even your competitors. However, if you find yourself having trouble making those connections, you might feel left in the dark as far as what’s happening in your industry.
Keeping in touch via social networks, business blogs, conferences, and business lunches is vital to business success. Luckily; your smart phone can help with that! The following five applications for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices will ensure you’re rubbing elbows with the right professionals…
1. MeetMe (Free – for iPhone)
MeetMe is a powerful social networking app that provides opportunities for business professionals to, well, meet up and exchange valuable contacts and knowledge. This app literally bridges the gap between offices so you can arrange to meet a colleague, mentor, business expert, or potential client right in the middle. Simply plug in Point A (your location) and Point B (your contact’s location) on the MeetMe and you will automatically receive a list of potential places to connect right in the middle. Select a mid-point destination and the app will send or text an automatic notification to you and your contact with complete meeting details.
2. Happening ($1.99 – for iPhone)
Attending industry networking events is vital to your business success. However, if you’re new to an industry, it might be hard to break into “the club” of veteran business associates. The Happening app finds events near you, and lists them in chronological order so you always know what’s coming up. Use this app to search relevant and upcoming business events anywhere in the world or use it to peruse the events of your existing contacts. Once you decide to attend an event, Happening will automatically save it to your preferred calendar.
3. LinkedIn (Free – for Blackberry)
LinkedIn is a must-have professional networking site for any business professional or big or small company. This business-specific social networking platform can help you make and manage all of your business contacts with little effort. In total, LinkedIn opens the door to a network of over 60-million professionals!
4. Hashable (Free – for Android)
Do you leave conferences and business meetings with a ton of paper business cards just to lose them on the cab ride home? That’s why I love Hashable, an app that helps you create and share virtual business cards with everyone you meet. The Hashable app will manage and store all of your contact information, remind you of upcoming events and meetings, and help you set-up business meetings with existing contacts.
5. GroupMe (Free – for Blackberry)
The GroupMe app makes group messaging a breeze for business users. Launch the app and invite contacts to join a group chat to talk about a new product proposal or networking event. This app also includes handy features—like location, video, and photo sharing—so you can share inspiration during meetings with contacts using absolutely any smart phone.