We all have various social media profiles for each aspect of our personal and professional lives. With all of this technology, it should be easier to connect to the people we meet out in the real world, whether it’s a good contact you meet out in the field or someone you strike up a conversation with that sounds like a good source for future stories.
My smartphone is very 2013, but my wallet looks very 1993, bursting with various business cards picked up along the way. Unless you’re diligent about it, they lose their value by the time you remember why you wanted to email them in the first place.
Maybe the last thing we all need is another app, but there are some useful ones out there to scan and connect to people on-the-go. Here are some I’ve been trying out.
You can download this iPhone app for free and using Bluetooth, connect to people via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Once you sync your accounts, you can share your preferred contact information with someone, and there info is automatically shared with you. Then you just have to follow, friend, or connect at will. To avoid that awkward moment while your devices find each other in the Bluetooth cloud, or if someone doesn’t have the app, there’s also an option to type in someone’s email, and have your information automatically sent to their inbox. At that point, the ball’s in their court.
Don’t hate on QR codes. This start-up started out wanting to connect friends with Facebook profiles and has moved onto connecting people with local businesses, offering a a way to “like” a business and get coupons and other offers. But anyone can create and download one of their straightforward, non-buggy CodeSquares for free. Take advantage of the basic, always free, CodeSquare and create one that links to your Facebook page or Twitter handle. You can download it and use it in any software, so you can add it to your business card. That way, you don’t have to wait for someone to remember to look you up on Twitter, they can scan your code right there and become an instant follower, raising the likelihood of staying in touch.
Another option for business card junkies is CardMunch, an app by LinkedIn that’s been on the market since 2011. This iPhone app lets you scan business cards to load contacts to your phone and beef up your LinkedIn profile.
It takes a bit for the card to be “transcribed” (by a team of monkeys, maybe) but once it’s loaded, you can add it directly to your LinkedIn account. If you aren’t interested in LinkedIn, you can also just create an iPhone contact with their information. The plus? If you don’t upload them immediately, you can lay out a bunch of them at once during your wallet spring cleaning and add them in bulk.
How do you organize your professional contacts? Have any other good tools to share?