The Ultimate Networking Tool For Introverts
I’ll be honest: I don’t know anyone who actually loves networking events.
But I know plenty of people who thrive in a shmoozy environment, and plenty who… do not.
Every so often, when writing in my daily gratitude journal (seriously this stuff works!) I thank Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Ben Silbermann…
Yeah. Those guys responsible for social media may be a blessing and a curse, but when I think of the business I run and love… I thank my lucky stars that I was born in the era of communicating via the internet.
So, it might seem obvious: of course networking on Facebook is going to be more suited to the introverts among us – we don’t need to leave the house… Kind of duh.
I don’t like ‘duh’ posts – there are enough of them out there already.
Instead, I want to dig into the actual psychology of why Facebook groups in particular, are SO perfect for networking – and how us introverts can use them to our advantage.
Why Facebook Groups are the Ultimate Networking Tool For Introverts
1. We can control our environment
Krystal D’Costa expressed this beautifully when she wrote:
“…this has also long been a criticism of these forms of communication—the ideas that reducing direct contact actually hurts relationships. We know that these media are not well suited to fully capturing the nuances of a conversation. But for introverts, they might actually be ideal because they offer the chance to control the interaction.”
In real-life networking situations, we don’t have the luxury of being able to ‘turn off notifications’ from conversations that bore or irritate us.
We can’t turn down the noise level in a room, or dim the lights.
On Facebook… we can control what we see to a pretty decent extent; particularly in groups. We can add our favourite groups to our News Feed, follow selected posts for notifications, connect with those who we resonate with at the click of a button.
It’s a beautiful thing.
2. We get to use our listening skills
Introverts are generally very good listeners, which is great in any networking event. However, where we normally slip up is getting a word in.
With Facebook groups, you can ‘listen’ (ok, read) for any length of time you like, and carve out thoughtful responses.
At networking events it’s tempting to slip into a deep conversation with just one person (my preference) but with Facebook groups, we can make it ‘around the room’ in no time… by simply scrolling down.
3. We have time to respond
Ever left a networking event thinking “shoot! I wish I’d said that!” well, I have. In fact I leave most conversations thinking that.
I’ve actually been known to say to close friends “Erm… Yeah I’m just going to send you my thoughts on <insert beefy topic> in an email.”
Introverts tend to be better at expressing themselves in the written word (have you seen me on Periscope? Yikes) because our thought process is slow and deep – sometimes it takes a while to get those thoughts out of our mouth.
With Facebook groups, our words can shine because we have time to write down our thoughts fully.
4. We can slip off quietly
I can’t tell you the guilt trips I’ve been dragged on by friends who just don’t get why I need to leave an event early.
I used to spend time in advance conjuring up a more socially acceptable reason than “Jeez, I really need to be in my pj’s right now watching South Park.”
With Facebook groups, no one notices if you close your browser. Sure, if you leave the group altogether the admin might bat an eye – but no hurt feelings will be shed.
Above all: no guilt trips will ensue.
5. We can find ‘our people’
It might be tempting to be a bit of a stalker on Facebook groups at first – I know I was – but the real networking benefits come from getting stuck in with posts and comments.
A good group admin will give many opportunities to do this (ahem) much like a good event coordinator should.
But sometime you need to grab the mic (ie. add a post) asking something that will attract YOUR people, specifically.
That might be a little scary at first, but heck – it’s a lot less scary than running up onto an actual stage.
For example: if I was in a group for fellow crochet lovers, I might add a post asking for recommendations on a particular type of yarn for a project I’m working on. The responses I get will be from the people I know can help me out on future projects, or who I can potentially help out in the future.
FREE Guide: How To Use Facebook Groups to Network
I hope I’ve shown you what a valuable networking tool Facebook groups are – and you’re ready to start using them like a champ!
If you haven’t downloaded the free guide to using Facebook groups to network, then I recommend clicking the button below to get it. There’s a right way and a wrong way to doing this stuff – and I’d love to show you how to get it bang on 😉
Are you a member of any Facebook groups?
Have you made use of them to network yet?
Let me know in the comments below, or hit me up on twitter @creativeintro!