Facebook can be an effective way to grow your business and professional network!
Networking is all about identifying Friendly Forces (allies and colleagues), creating trusting relationships and helping each other achieve your goals.
Most of us start using Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends. I know I did!
When I became a veteran, I started connecting with other business owners, and learned that many had business Facebook pages, which I started to like and follow. I even started my own business Facebook page, where I occasionally share events, blogs, and information.
In 2020, when much of the world pivoted to virtual networking, and my offspring were stuck learning from home, I found that I had extra time to do things that interested me.
I learned that several of my sisters in the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) were collaborating to run two monthly worldwide webinars. One focused on Intergenerational Dialogue and the other on Leadership.
Since Leadership is one of my special interests, and I love meeting new people, especially those with different lived experiences than mine, I started attending these early morning online events while the rest of my household was asleep.
It turns out that many BPW members are on Facebook, but not necessarily on LinkedIn. My group of Facebook friends grew after each BPW International event.
In 2021, a young woman I connected to through the WE CAN Project at Queen’s University Coffee Konnections program, shared that she was working with other young women from India, who were all studying abroad, on scholarships. They planned to start a social enterprise to help women in India improve their lives through entrepreneurship.
I admitted that I didn’t know anything about starting that sort of program or doing business in India. I asked for her permission to share some of her story with my network, with a goal of finding someone in India that could help her.
Then I reached out to my BPW network, focusing on India. The first person to show up in my Facebook friends search was literally a woman doing this kind of work in India. I reached out, we had a Facebook live chat, and then I introduced the two women to each other.
Earlier this month I celebrated my birthday, people from all over the world (probably reminded by Facebook) reached out with birthday greetings. This reminded me that it was time to write a post on Networking with Facebook.
One of Facebook’s great features are the groups, whether it’s an open or private group. You can join a group on just about any topic imaginable. The people in the groups I enjoy belonging to, share resources and advice with each other. Some of them provide motivational aids, others run monthly learning challenges.
If you’re interested in growing your network and you’re already on Facebook I encourage you to reach out and connect with others, by liking pages, joining groups, and commenting on other peoples’ posts.
Caution: There are predators and other creepy people on all social media platforms. Please do NOT share personal data, especially your address, workplace, or phone number online. Please do NOT participate in “fun” quizzes asking you for your pet’s name, or favourite foods. Online predators use this information to hack you accounts. If you remain cautious, you can safely network online. For more about interacting safely with people you meet online follow Matt Richardson on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
What's your favourite way to network?
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