When I was laid off from corporate America it scared the crap out of me to have to network. As a small business owner I now understand the value of networking. I also understand traditional networking does not serve me, my soul or my business well. Social business networking serves me, my soul and my business in ways I can’t even put into words… and I am a writer!
Having worked primarily within my network of women in business I decided, on the recommendation of a colleague, to attend a more traditional networking meeting. I found the page on Meetup and the founder replied to my inquiry. He was business-like and welcoming so I took the plunge last week.
At the meeting I met the founder at the meeting, shook his hand, chatted it up with him and left. Then I get an email requesting, among other things, that I friend him on Facebook. It linked to his (gasp!) personal page!
My response included a meeting request and mention of a lead I received at his meeting. I also said, “My Facebook page is reserved for personal contacts, friends and family. Please become a fan of my business page www.facebook.com/
His response: “I will LIKE your page, no question. Be aware though that social media is a KEY element in what we do in [name of his group]. We have a special Facebook GROUP where members are expected to communicate, we help each other by giving LIKE’s to one another’s pages and posts, we recommend one another on LinkedIn, and so on….” He went on to give me a short lesson on Facebook security. The bold was in his email.
My response: “I didn’t hear anything about social media when I was at the meeting – so that’s odd if it is core to [name of group]. My personal page is personal and my business page is business. I believe in building face to face relationships first and foremost. That is why I have a business page. Networking contacts are at the outset business contacts and have no need to know what I did this weekend or anything on my personal page. That and you can subscribe to pages without a friend request. BTW I manage two dozen business pages for my clients and it is growing and I have a dozen Twitter accounts that I manage so I am well aware of the power of social media.”
[Insert flaming middle finger]
There are a few lessons we can learn from this experience:
- Don’t send emotional emails: I waited before crafting my response. I closed the email and walked away from my desk thinking maybe I didn’t understand his response. Then I reread his response and sent my own.
- Be professional even if they aren’t: How’s this for professionalism? He hasn’t responded! #pompousass
- Bold is the email equivalent of yelling so please refrain. Bold in a blog post is for SEO or emphasis on keywords.
- Find a good fit: Whether a networking group or a pair of shoes, it is important to find the right fit for YOU.
- Share tactfully: Notice I deleted his name and the name of his group in this post. I have a business and reputation to protect; it has nothing to do with the pompous ass.
McAuley Freelance Writing provides social media, blogging and professional writing services to small businesses across the country. Based in Gilbert, Owner Anne McAuley believes in the power of SEVEN and shopping local. She can be reached at [email protected] or 480-206-6452.