“Helping others is the way we help ourselves” – Oprah Winfrey
When a new Business Park opened in Cambridge, the managing company of the site decided to host a “Meet the Neighbour” networking event, allowing residents of the park to see who is based around them and what they do. Come the evening of the event, it seemed like ¾ of attendees were based anywhere but the Business Park and were looking to meet residents in the hope of signing them up as customers.
Now take a Facebook Group such as Freelance Heroes (obviously!) and you’ll be amazed how many people try to join it in the hope of signing up any of the 2000+ members as customers. Needless to say, those people aren’t allowed in.
If you’re joining a Facebook Group, LinkedIn Group or forum, related to an industry type, geographical location, or other topic, follow these steps to get the most out of it.
- Read the Rules
In each group there will most likely be a description from the person who set it up, detailing who the group is for and the nature of behaviour in the group. This will help you to integrate with existing members most effectively and show that you’re there for the same reasons as them. What if there’s no description? I’ll come back to that. *
- Learn From Existing Posts
But reading what has been allowed in, and their respective comments, you’ll be able to see first-hand what works best in the group, ensuring your posts and comments compliment what’s there.
- Comment before Posting
It’s not your job to tell other people you’re an expert, but theirs to tell you. So start by sharing your experiences and knowledge in response to other group members’ posts. The law of reciprocity will encourage those same people to comment back too.
- Post Away
People are already learning about you and where your professional focus lies. So post away and start a conversation, ideally by asking question or sharing an experience.
Social media includes the word “social” for a reason and nobody joins social media for a reason. Even once you’ve followed these steps, or *if there’s no group description telling you otherwise, be a part of the conversation instead of a heavy stream of what you do.
Answering other people’s questions or challenges not only feels great, but the more we do it then the more we’ll inspire others to do the same. Creating a level of support and inspiration that could hugely benefit us when we need it most.
What are the most beneficial social media groups you’ve experiences? What are the best (or worst) examples of activity and conversation within the groups too? Tell me your stories here or at @edagoodman.