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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: answering | business networking | career networks | Communication | community websites | group | jobs seeker | LinkedIn | manager | managers | meetup.com | networking profile | networking tools | online social networking | question | questions | social information processing | social media | social network | social network service | social networking | social networking group | social networking groups | web 2.0 | world wide web
Categories: Social Networking