Asides from free drinks, online networking is a great way to build relationships and open doors that would have been otherwise locked. However, many people whine about how online networking is time wasting. If you belong to this group of whiners, you may have been doing some things wrong. To improve your online networking game, here are 9 things to avoid.

  1. Don’t Spam: If you often spam your contacts with irrelevant messages, your contacts may not take you seriously and overlook your important messages. It’s also a great way to get blacklisted. So, send only relevant messages and keep happy new month and “hello, I’m just checking on you” messages to your family and friends.
  2. Mind Your Topic Of Discussion: When you send emails to professional acquaintances, avoid void vagueness & religious undertone (e.g. God bless you). It can send a wrong signal. Go straight to the point. ‬

3. Salutations: Please be sensitive to salutations. If you’re emailing a woman, use Ms. “Ms. Last Name” – it covers both the married (Mrs.) and the unmarried (Miss). Don’t use Ms. or Mr. for Dr. or Barr or those that have special salutations they earned especially if they are Africans. Include the right salutation until they reply with their first names. Don’t over-familiarize.

4. Use Social Media Platforms The Proper Way: Keep your vacation pictures, TGIF pictures and family birthday celebrations to Facebook and Instagram. It’s not appropriate for networking platforms like LinkedIn and can make you appear unserious.

5. Ambitious Sentences: For the sake of everything you love, avoid the use of bogus sentences as they may make you look too ambitious and possibly fake. Keep your sentences short and use actions words.

6. Don’t Abbreviate Or Mis-Spell Names: Abbreviating or using small letters to begin names is an act of over-familiarity. For example, our founder, Dr. Adeola, prefers her name as “Adeola” and not “Deola”. A good way to find out how a person wants his or her name written is to check their Linkedln profile or website.

7. Personalization: Starting a conversation or email with “Hello” or “Hi” may seem a little too cold. That’s why you need to personalize your greetings. So, start conversations or emails with Hello or Dear “First Name Last Name” to address people. If the recipient responds to your email with “First Name only” in their signature when replying, address them with “Dear First Name only” in your next email.

8. Avoid Grammatical Errors: Nothing turns people off, faster than poor grammar. Be very guarded when sending out those networking messages. To spot grammatical errors, use tools like Grammarly or simply read out your writings to yourself.

9. Keep Emails Short And Simple: No one has the time to read lengthy emails. So, make your emails short and straight to the point. Also, avoid sounding pitiful.

 

Have you any online networking tips you’d like to share? Kindly send us an email @ info@stemhubfoundation.com!

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