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Are you networking? Really?

When we go to networking events in person, there are really 2 kinds of attendees. The people often referred to as card ninjas, who are here to pass the maximum number of business cards as though it were a competition, and the people who are there to meet other people with whom they would hopefully like to do business. Certainly its really a continuum, but those are the biggest categories.

People work social media the same way. Some people want to have as many links, fans, or followers as they can possibly manage. My question is, to what purpose? If you aren’t taking a moment to connect with any of these people, to exchange a few words or Tweets about who they are as a person, then it isn’t a connection, its just a crowd. And yelling into a crowded room just isn’t useful. Few people will actually hear you, and only a few of them will actually care. And at least one of them will probably take exception to what you just said!!

So lets back off on the card-ninja approach and take a little time to hear what other people are really saying. If you listen to them, you’ll have a much better chance of them listening to you.