I heard some great advice the other day that I thought I’d share with you about joining groups in LinkedIn or Facebook.
I guess it’s like joining any networking group or community in the real world. The trap is that you join a group and you just start broadcasting what it is you do, what product you sell and what services you offer and what expertise you have and what credibility you have without actually getting an understanding about what it is that community is about, what conversations they’re having and what it is indeed they are looking for and what they are in need of.
The bit of advice that I overheard and thought it was worth repeating again is when you join a community, specifically in this case a group on Facebook of LinkedIn. By all means introduce yourself to the group, as you would at a networking function. Then politely sit down and shut up for a little while and have a listen to what’s going on, have a listen to the conversations that are happening, have a listen to the tone of the conversations that are happening in that group and more importantly have a listen and a lookout for what it is people are wanting help with in that group. That will be your key to becoming influential in that group and actually being able to command some attention rather than just barging in and demanding the attention of the group.
So you might come across a need in a group for advice around a particular topic that you are knowledgeable in or have some expertise in then by all means feel free to offer that advice without any expectation. Just off that advice as you would at any kind of networking function. Over time you will see that your contribution to the group is appreciated, respected and business may come of it. But if nothing else, the perception of you as a market leader is your space will be elevated which is what social networking is all about really.