Networking 2.0 : "Tools to Put More In"
Nathaniel Whitmore of Change.org blogged this week about a next-generation approach to networking. He concluded by describing social media platforms and utilities as "tools to put more in." Thought I'd pick up where he left off with a few thoughts about how...
LinkedIn: Write reviews. Be generous in your acknowledgment of others strengths, accomplishments and contributions to your success.
Twitter: RTs and mentions are a valuable form of social currency--spend liberally.
Blogs: Do more than just read--even simple comments, 1-click tweets, diggs, or trackbacks can help boost a contact's credibility and profile. Keep in mind the 4 Cs to help build authentic online conversations.
Facebook: Here again, small is beautiful. Use Fb Share buttons to promote good content, go ahead and become a fan of someone's venture...who knows, you might just find a legitimate use for that "suggest a friend" function.
It may come as a revelation to some of the "wired generation," but networking doesn't actually require a URL. Some of the best connections, and the best contributions, you can make still happen the old fashioned way--face to face.
- When meeting someone for the first time, make it a goal to ask three meaningful questions before saying anything about yourself.
- Build a mental 'map' of the space you live and work in. Pay special attention to the gaps, places where you might be able to facilitate connections.
- When you receive a business card, take a moment to note one 'gift' you could give that person--an introduction email you could write, a link you could pass along, even a book you could recommend (or send).
Above all, be sincere. To borrow from Nathaniel again, today's networking is all about building layers of connection and reciprocity...less transaction, more legitimate network.