I thought the goal of networking groups was to network!

My friend Kevin Knebl recently posted this on Facebook. There is a lot to learn here about how to use social media…

GAL: “I post all the time but I don’t get many people liking, commenting, or sharing my posts. How do I get more engagement on my Social Media posts, Kev?”
ME: “Do you ever attend networking events, Gal?”
GAL: “Yes.”
ME: “How do you get people to be interested in you at the networking events you attend?”
GAL: “No one really seems that interested in me or what I do. They all seem to just want to talk about themselves and their businesses.”
ME: “Why do you think that is?”
GAL: “I don’t know. I thought the goal of networking groups was to network.”
ME: “A communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person with the tool.”
GAL: “Huh?”
ME: “A networking group is a communication tool.”
GAL: “I never thought of it that way.”
ME: “Social Media platforms are communication tools.”
GAL: “Okay.”
ME: “A communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person with the tool.”
GAL: “You already said that.”
ME: “Yes, but you didn’t understand it. You still don’t. And that’s okay. Most people don’t have good communication skills.”
GAL: “How can you say that?”
ME: “Look around.”
GAL: *silence*
ME: “Are you good at what you do?”
GAL: “Yes.”
ME: “Then how come you don’t have more clients and referrals than you can handle?”
GAL: “I’m trying to figure that out.”
ME: “I’m giving you the answer.”
GAL: “I don’t get it.”
ME: “Your original question was about wanting to get more engagement on Social Media. The answer to your question was in the question itself.”
GAL: “Help me to understand.”
ME: “If you give a telephone to a two year old, will they be able to have effective and productive conversations with people through it?”
GAL: “No.”
ME: “Why not? They’ve got some of the most sophisticated communication technology in the world in their hands.”
GAL: “Because they don’t know how to talk.”
ME: “Let me rephrase your answer. They don’t know how to communicate. And communication isn’t just talking. It’s also listening.”
GAL: *silence*
ME: “If I were to look back through all of your Social Media activity over the last 30 days, I bet I’d see a lot more posting than engaging.”
GAL: *silence*
ME: “You just told me that you thought the goal of networking groups is to network. And then you told me that all the people you meet in networking groups just wanna talk about themselves and their businesses. Any of this sounding familiar?”
GAL: “Jeez, I’m doing the same thing on Social Media!”
ME: *smile*
GAL: “How did I miss this?!”
ME: “Almost everyone misses it. A communication tool is only as effective as the communication skills of the person with the tool.”
GAL: “I need to be more engaging, don’t I?”
ME: *smile*
GAL: “It was right in front of me the whole time.”
ME: “Things are always confusing until they’re obvious. Whether online or offline, take a sincere interest in people. Be a friend and a resource, not a sales pitch.”
GAL: “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
ME: “You’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome.”

Take a sincere interest in people. The key word being “sincere”. Everything else will work itself out just fine. ツ