Social Networking Groups, Marketing or Mutual Admiration Society?
Social Networking Groups, Marketing or Mutual Admiration Society?
Shortly after creating a social networking profile, professionals often move immediately to joining groups hosted by Facebook, LinkedIn or other networking sites. To leverage the power of groups, it's important to set your expectations before joining. I received a suggestion from LinkedIn this morning, "Jerry, join these 4 groups we've recommended for you." I reviewed the four groups and determined LinkedIn's selections were logical, but not strategic. The  suggestions involved groups whose members were either professional colleagues or peers. Great opportunity if my goal was to keep an eye on those who market similar services. Lousy idea if my goal was to connect with those who buy my services. If you want to leverage your investment in social networking groups, stop marketing to your peers.

Here are some tips for making sense of social networking groups.

  • Define Your Goal - are you trying to get in front of qualified prospects, build credibility by demonstrating your expertise or join a mutual admiration society?
  • Be of Service - Choose to engage groups where you can create value instead of noise.
  • Facilitate, Don't Lead* - Some of the most lively discussions come from asking thoughtful questions.
  • Listen Carefully - You will be amazed at the wealth of customer intelligence you will obtain.
  • Seek Opportunity - Use what you learn to create new products and services ahead of your competition.
*Clients follow Leaders who know where they are going. I hope these tips help you lead, not follow, your competition.  

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