Monday, September 21, 2009

"Networking" v.s. "Self-Promotion" through your Social Networking Sites?

I just read an interesting article from the ForbesWomenCommunity on Facebook which talked about the difference between 'networking' and 'self-promotion.' In the example presented, if you were to meet someone at an event, they sounded intelligent, dressed nicely, etc., why would you run screaming away from them within the next 5 minutes?

The answer is that they only talked about themselves. We've all been caught in those conversations.

So with that said, the question now is are you doing the samething with your social networking sites? To some degree we need to, but there is a fine line. In our drive for ROI, lets not forget that the primary use of these sites is to create a relationship, driven by supporting the needs of our members, non-members and industry stake holders - and yes to ultimately convince them that they should join, purchase a product/service or financial support the organization. But that's the end game...the long haul. And we must be patient.

As we've seen over and over again, especially looking at 1st year member conversions versus ongoing renewal rates, we need to first create awareness, then create trust by thinking first of our "site participants" then about ourselves. If we push to hard or to fast, we create suspicion and loose credibility.

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