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5 Ways Virtual Meetings Can Grow Your LinkedIn Network

The novel coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the lives of billions of people. But this global crisis is creating unique opportunities for professional network growth in business, entertainment and non-governmental sectors through the versatility of modern communication tools and technology.

Building A Deeper Digital Presence on LinkedIn

One main way to improve digital presence is by promoting the use of video conferencing software on the professional network and career development website, LinkedIn. Most employers, employees and entrepreneurs are encouraged to stay at home and this has transformed the society into a virtual one. This means that everyone should be focused on creating a broader and deeper digital footprint on popular social media websites and networks. This is necessary as the global unemployment rates are rising with some countries’ rates in double digits and major industries facing financial uncertainty.

Video Conferencing Is An Essential Digital Tool

Video conferencing software like Zoom is proving to be an essential digital tool in the environment of social distancing. Many platforms are free or affordable and easy to install on any portable electronic device or computer system.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the popular social media sites are being saturated with advertisements since it is a lucrative space for e-commerce. This can make it difficult to engage your network. In a normal, pre-COVID-19 environment, other challenges included conflicting work schedules, overbooked flights, high cost of event planning, travel accommodation and distracting social media news headlines. These days, however, the power is in your hands, to shape a strategy that would create more virtual interaction, discussion and professional connections using video conferencing.

Take a look at five easy ways to use video conferencing software to create a bigger digital presence.

1. Start A Podcast or Virtual Show

On social media, content is key particularly good, engaging content. In 2020, one of the best ways to captivate audiences is to start a podcast or virtual show. This type of content is big business, globally, there are ”54 million podcast episodes” accessible to audiences. While LinkedIn as a website doesn’t give its members a virtual space on their profiles to post podcasts, on the newsfeed, LinkedIn members’ professional network can see links to podcast hosting sites.

For professionals, building trust, integrity and general competency and confidence are possible through this platform. LinkedIn makes it easier to connect with the people in their industry locally, regionally and internationally showcasing their expertise.

Pros of launching A Podcast or Virtual Show Via Video Conferencing

• There is no upfront production cost

• You can manage when and how your audience sees the content

• Podcasts and virtual shows can be interactive (answering audience questions live)

• Attract potential advertisers or monetize your podcast and virtual show as audience’s interest grows

There are few limitations or obstacles with video conferencing (with exception of understanding various time zones for international guests). In many cases, it allows multiple hosts per meeting, virtual green screen and digital recording of sessions that can be shared on other video-centric platforms and networks.

2. Create Interactive Events From Public/Customer Feedback

Seminars, symposiums and exhibitions require months of preparation and planning. It is an exhausting and expensive undertaking that can attract a few dozen to hundreds of participants per event.

In a time of social distancing, these type of events have been postponed or cancelled entirely. While businesses should not stop marketing new products, there should be a shift in focus with more emphasis on maintaining and improving relationships with customers and the general public.

How can I do my banking while social distancing? Education during a pandemic, what should parents know? These are some of the questions the public or customer will ask during this period. When both the public and private sectors respond to these problems, they can guarantee when the situation improves, they will benefit. In early May, Barbados’ main employers’ organization had advertised a number of webinars on LinkedIn relating to employment relations and business operational challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For this professional group connecting to key members and publics becomes more convenient and direct through video conferencing.

3. Build and Reward Company Engagement with Virtual Team Linkups

Companies are struggling to maintain employee morale. The causes of existing lack of motivation are a result of closed communication, lack of incentive, lack of belonging and leadership. Video conferencing can provide a golden opportunity for companies to encourage more employee communication through virtual team linkups. It is true, person-to-person interaction can be beneficial to a company. But in these times, group video conferencing on LinkedIn where most if not all of employees and management should have an online presence creates added value. Through performance appraisals, corporate employee quarterly or annual awards and recognition, the group meetings, productivity and personal motivation should be rewarded. For outsiders, (young graduates, professionals in other industries and potential customers) seeing this activity can boost a company’s brand and image while reinforcing the commitment of employees.

4. Make a ”Virtual Stage” for Artists, Entertainers, Performers

LinkedIn is often used by those within finance, insurance, travel, accommodation, information technology, education and media sectors but there is a place for the creative industries. Instagram, Youtube and Facebook may seem like the social media platforms for artists, entertainers and performers. But with all the memes, videos, posts from followers and fans, their work can get lost in the noise. This group like everyone else is looking for work, seeking opportunities to improve themselves technically and artistically. If one musician has 20 artistic LinkedIn connections made up of singers, producers, dancers and musicians, video conferencing can create a ”virtual stage”. In April 2020, people worldwide saw their favorite artists (over 100) performing music, creating a unique concert for their viewers. This was accomplished through a combination of pre-recorded sessions in addition to group video conferencing. On a smaller scale, creatives can use LinkedIn and video conferencing to perform, teach and promote their work.

5. Host Virtual Membership Drives/Meetings for Charities and Social Clubs

Social groups that rely on membership to maintain their existence may see the pandemic as a blow to productivity and fellowship. But technology should be viewed as a tool which will build or maintain relationships while increasing membership. LinkedIn has a mixture of students and young graduates with more established professionals that creates a social network for up and coming talent and mentorship for mature professionals. Video conferencing can eliminate the problem of inconvenient timing of club meetings, transportation or work challenges and the conflict of other late-night social commitments. Charities and social clubs hosting virtual membership drives and meetings are not only cost-effective (particularly when marketing budget for this is limited or nonexistent) but improve communication and retention.


See Upcoming LinkedIn Local Caribbean Events Here

The Mental Health of Caribbean Men During COVID-19

June 3, 2020 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Refuel and Re-Engage with Sonia (LinkedIn Local Barbados Online Event)

June 4, 2020 5:00 PM-6:00 PM

Follow blog writer Krystal Penny Bowen on LinkedIn

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