It isn’t – or shouldn’t be – just about providing opportunities to socialise. Creating the network is not in itself the end product. Whether we’re talking about an employer or an interest group, the objective is to get people working together to promote the company or the group. Cooperation and collaboration are the watchwords.
Think of the members of the network as a community. It may be a community of workers for the same organisation or breeders of the same kind of parrot or off-road cyclists – it’s still a community and there should be benefits in networking for the members and for the organisation.
Being a member of an online group gives people who would otherwise remain silent the opportunity to contribute to discussion. There may be cases where both the organisation and the other members wish that remaining silent is what the member had done and you need a policy for that – one that prevents people from being bullied or insulted but at the same time does not allow one person to dominate conversation to the point where others are driven to leave.
Someone needs to take charge. Someone has to decide where the organisation is going, how it can best get there and what part social networking will play in that. That means deciding: whose organisation is this? Of course it belongs to the members – but who will they trust to run things?
The number of people you have creates an opportunity to get interested third parties to interact with the group in a way that they might not with individual members.
Provide opportunities for learning. Get people coming back, and back, and back again because they know that this network is the place not only to meet like-minded people but also to learn things that they didn’t know before and to get ideas that are new to them but in which other members are experienced.
Putting together a social network platform may seem intimidating. Blendapps is here to make sure that it isn’t. We look forward to hearing from you.