I would like to say a big thanks to Michael Marco who is in my network (http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelmarco) for his LinkedIn posting recently reminding us avid one track networkers that “If you want to be interesting, be interested. Give before you get.”
I was struck by how profound a statement this really is. I didn’t think he would mind if I borrowed the thought to take pause and encourage others to give some thought about how we actually act in social media situations. Perhaps some of us need to tweak (not tweet) our performance for the better – I think we would get more fruitful results.
A book I have been reading recently described Social Media as a Cocktail Party (The New Rules of Marketing and PR, David Scott). And well, if you think about it, it really is but without a fine Merlot and the nice crudités. What people tend to do (Scott says) is thrust business cards in each other’s faces saying ‘buy my product” to tons of people they don’t really know. Pretty crass and not overly smart. Social Media/Networking is built on the premise of being a COMMUNITY. It’s a forum to provide valuable and interesting information to others with absolutely no expectation of anything in return.
The real essence of Social Networking and why it really works is more about listening and reading what others have to say and taking the time to engage in healthy comment or debate.
I personally spend two to three hours a day on LinkedIn for example. I think one does need to be ‘interested’ to be ‘interesting’ and visaversa to garner attention from others. But that takes some effort. Take a moment, step back and really look at what others are posting, are blogging about. Make suggestions to help those in your network and it will come back to you in spades. There is a lot of great stuff on places like LinkedIn, Twitter, Face Book for free that is interesting and useful and guess what it’s free.
Listen, read, comment and engage – DO IT EVERY DAY. Your connections will really appreciate it and they will surprise you with the connections they can bring to you. That is $$$ in your pocket.
As often as I can, I take the time to read what everyone is doing in my network daily. I try to comment, offer my support and I have seen it pay off. There are way too many people on LinkedIn doing their own thing, that is one their own track – silos — without giving much thought to the real meaning of the social community.
Come on everyone, let’s make that social community work the way it’s meant to
Over and Out