A recent conversation with a client set me thinking. In fact I’d had a similar discussion with another client not much earlier. They both wanted accounts set up at various social networking tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc and have everything automated (rss feed from blogs, automatic responses, etc) so that they could literally ‘set and forget’ the very tools they needed for networking. This isn’t the first time this subject has been raised – I’ve had others ask too, thinking that engaging a Virtual Assistant to set things up for them and do occasional maintenance was all that is needed. I don’t agree – I believe they have to be involved in the networking aspect of using these tools – I’m just setting up the mechanics to make it easier for them to use.
It made me realise that these clients don’t understand the reason why these networking sites exist. They’re not for automatic promotion of business services and products to generate quick sales, but rather to facilitate networking, build relationships and over time, may generate business. I can affirm business will follow but only after people feel they’ve gotten to know you, trust you or see that there are others they admire who trust you and do business with you. Why would they when there are many to choose from and some of those may be their competitors who are in there building relationships.
In this day and age of instant gratification and quick responses, people tend to forget that some things need to be nurtured and carefully grown over time. And networking is one of those things, irrespective of what vehicle or tool is used. What do you think?