I recently attended Social Media 09 in London, which was a face-paced tour of social media comment, case studies and demos.Posted by: David Regler @
As usual at these excellent mashup event, there are always some nuggets of information which change your perceptions.
For me, a couple of speakers nailed it.
Mat Morison talked about how "social norms", rather than "business norms" are applicable within social media and Andrew Grill made the point that it's the same rules which apply to any social gathering, such as a networking event.
Now these may seem obvious, but if you look at how many people behave within social media you can see how the point isn't always grasped.
It's a bit like seeing someone at a networking event who's rushing from group to group, working the room and gathering business cards rather than engaging in meaningful conversations.
In a networking environment you'd just call them a jerk; on a linkedin group you'd call them a spammer.
Many of the speakers used a simple 3-step approach for brands using social media. I think that it's equally applicable for business development.
Firstly you listen. Next you respond. Finally you engage.
It reminds me of much of the advice about "networking" in the 90's so it makes perfect sense in the context of social media, such as a Linkedin group that you've just joined.
Listen to what's happening and wait for an opportunity to respond.
Finally, once you understand the tone of the group you can initiate a discussion.
I kind of think that if more people took this approach then every LinkedIn group wouldn't have those "featured discussions" laying down the rules.