It’s no surprise that I’m a huge advocate for in-person networking, and I recognize that I cultivate more meaningful connections when I get out from behind my screens, but I recently had to comment on a Huffington Post article titled,”Networking Tips: Why Facebook and LinkedIn May Not Pay Off” which summarized parts of a study of 1000 small biz owners by Manta (rather poorly, I might add).
The study is a thinly disguised plug/pitch for their platform (content marketing by Manta in its most basic form), and HuffPost abetted by titling their article with the link bait names Facebook and LinkedIn, but I went ahead and called this out anyway because I’m concerned about the misguided conclusions some HuffPost readers might draw about LinkedIn and Facebook:
When asked how they chose partners or vendors, 56 percent of small-business owners surveyed by Manta said they simply ask people they know.
What I wrote was:
Well, how do you think you get to KNOW people to ask for referrals in the first place? You may have met them only briefly at a networking event or bar or wedding, but you get to know then by linking to them online so that it’s easier to stay in touch and connected.
Most of us do the actual linking to a new contact via social networking sites like Facebook and, because it’s less creepy (especially if you met them while throwing back a few in a bar), LinkedIn.
LinkedIn may not always be where a relationship originates, but in today’s world, and more often than not, it’s where the “knowing” that leads to real referrals typically happens.
Most people I know don’t just send business your way until they’ve gotten to know you a bit and feel that they can trust and confidently recommend you whether you’re a new contact (met in an elevator?) or an old one.
IMHO, we need all of the things listed to have a decent network and be successful in this world.