[01.03.11]
42 great comments!

3 Questions For Managers Of Social Networking Groups

When I speak to social networking groups, I often ask three questions.  To provoke and make a point.

Often these events are filled with job seekers.  People looking to change or better their careers.  And sometimes they are filled with people looking to build a business or consulting practice.

Regardless of their status, all see the event as a place to get something done.  But what?  What is this “something”?

So after an event a few months ago, I wrote Career Networking Without A Purpose Is Just Socializing.  As a way to highlight the lack of purpose I was witnessing.  What is it like in your social networking groups?

And since then, social networking with a purpose has become a theme on the blog.  If you missed any of the posts, here are a few that highlight how to network with more of a purpose:

Create A Target Profile For Career And Social Networking

Take Action On Your Target Network Profile

Here are the three questions I ask members.  But this time, I am going to ask the questions to you.  The group manager or owner.

    online social networking, social information processing, world wide web, social networking group, social networking groups, social network service, social networking, social media, social network, community websites, web 2.0, networking profile, business networking, jobs seeker, networking tools, career networks, questions, question, meetup.com, linkedin, answering, group, manager, managers, communication I ask this question to get people thinking.  Why are they here.  Why this meeting.  Why today.  Was this event designed with you in mind or is it just the most obvious thing for you to be doing today?

Group owner: What are you doing to structure your content to attract the right people?  Are you doing a good job telling the community what your group is about and who should attend?  Are you staying true to your original mission statement?

If not, take some time early in this year to re-establish your mission.  Clarify what your group is about so that if I ever come speak to your group, at least a few hands go up with a specific answer.

social networking, business networking, ideas, provoke, questions, purpose, socializing I ask this question to see if anyone was using the event to meet a specific person.  Smart networking includes identifying a target network profile (see above) and using events as one way to get introduced.

So how are you helping your members connect with each other?  Have you tried the Watchlyst™ as a networking tool?  Do you make a roster available for current and new members?  Do you have a LinkedIn group so people can connect beyond once a month?

If members are simply meeting other random members.  By walking around the room.  Teach them to network with a purpose.  By encouraging them to use your group to meet the right people.

goals, social networking, business networking, career, job search, ideas, questions So I’ve learned something through my speaking engagements. Not everyone has goals.  Besides finding a job, getting an interview or meeting more recruiters.  I push people to establish them.  Ten per week.  Two per day.

And as the leader, you can encourage goal setting.  You should.  Because your group should be an important tactic in a larger social networking strategy.  A place or activity where people can achieve their goals.

This makes your group more valuable.  People are getting results from their membership.  Whether attendance is free, donation-driven or paid.

Not just a cup of coffee and a muffin.

So I’ll keep asking these questions.  With the hope that audiences get provoked to think about their answers.  And I hope their answer includes your group in a bigger way for 2011.

As a group owner (LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, MeetUp, local), what are you doing to create value for your members?  Tell me about your group – what makes it special?

Are a member of a few great groups?  Who is providing a great structure for purposeful social networking?

Tim Tyrell-Smith is the creator of Tim’s Strategy. As a blogger, Tim has been a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report, interviewed twice on NPR and is the author of two career books (“30 Ideas” and “HeadStrong”). Become a fan at http://facebook.com/TimsStrategy and follow on Twitter (@TimsStrategy). He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Tim's Strategy®.



Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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  • http://growingforward.net Scott Asai

    I’ve taken my own positive and negative experiences at network events and conferences to make the one I am hosting the best it can be. I want Career Synergy to be about relationships. I want to meet people in different industries to widen my network and open new opportunities for coaching in fields I would have never considered before. My belief is your career is built on relationships. It’s more about who you know, rather than what you know. Being focused on growing your career, I hope this monthly event to be a building point for many careers (including mine) to come.

    • http://timsstrategy.com/ TimsStrategy

      Great Scott – Good luck with the new group. Sounds like you have some good ideas!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/theNetworkingMotivator Beth Bridges

    I’ve got in-person networking groups who I’m trying to get to expand their group interaction to social media. If we have good structure, excellent promotion and a purpose for the event itself, it should translate to online. I think we’re doing well with the in-person, but I’m in a community of slow-adopters so it’s a bit of a process to get them online. But worth the effort to strengthen the ties.

    • http://timsstrategy.com/ TimsStrategy

      Agree that the online portion is crucial. Helps everyone stay in touch in between meetings, share leads and ideas as well as allowing new members to target or plan meetings in advance of the next get together. Thanks Beth.

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  • Ryan Thogmartin

    Great post! Networking has to have a point and purpose.

  • john George Hermanson

    I am a group owner of a few groups on linkedin and facebook… on linkedin I own the Y@chtin (yachting industry networking group) and the international sailing federation group(ISAF) also a manager of two other maritime groups on linkedin, on facebook I own the yachting industry group. on linkedin I review each person in the group before joining, to minimize the spammers, I have launched pr campaigns, posted in forums for the group, it has grown from a few handful to 13,000 people yachting professionals from brokers , boatbuilders, etc… my goal in setting up the groups was to get the industry online, by creating a platform so people can communicate their needs, yet since 2008 I have not made 1 cent from the group, nor have i solicited any work, on occasions i get time wasters,,, look me up search…” yachting in Kuwait”

    • http://timsstrategy.com/ TimsStrategy

      Hey John and thanks for your comments. Glad to hear that you are doing right by your group members. Congrats on your growth!


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