When thinking about social and business networking groups most will immediately start envisioning just the Online versions like Facebook and LinkedIn. However, the offline versions are turning out to be of more value as people start thinking about their personal and professional time they spend getting involved with these groups. There is a big difference between the nature of these two groups and the problems each group has is causing business and social networking to change.
In today’s hectic social and business environments the online groups are now serving only to be a base for communicating with selected friends and associates. Before, online social groups were places people when to let their hair down, show photos, chat with people on anything and generally have fun. The online business networking groups were places to go when it was time to discuss business issues, network to a business lead or meet possible partners in business.
What has taken place is the spam, scams and deception that comes natural to an online presence has become a mainstay on the internet for the two groups. This unfortunately is forcing thousands of the more sensible of the individuals to go back to what is natural which is seeing the person in person.
This makes the offline version of social and business networking groups a much more preferable endeavor than sitting on Facebook and LinkedIn looking at a photo of a patch of grass or logo in a person’s profile that says they are a human.
There still is some confusion amongst many people on what the function of the two different groups. The questions many have is…
What is the difference in a Social and Business Networking Group? Aren’t they technically the same thing?
What is concerning is many people do not know there is a difference in what the two groups represent. The people who use the groups for the social purposes do have a good understanding of what the social groups are about.
Unfortunately, it is the many business people who do not feel there is a difference. This is usually due to them being totally profit driven in their personal life or strapped with a business model that has such a small profit margin they have to sell their usually lame products to every human being on earth in order to make a living. It is these individuals who cause so much dissention in both groups. This is causing the entire purpose of the online networks to be voided and the offline groups to become very guarded in who they allow into their groups.
Lets take a look at the basic differences.
Social Networking Groups
By rough definition a Social Networking Groups is a gathering of liked minded people. The purpose of the social groups are to offer a place for people to socialize. It is human nature to gather and tell stories and visit on current events.
- Usually meet quality people who share the same values and interests.
- Friendships and relationships develop in a social environment
- Find special social interests gatherings
- Gatherings of people are seen as a gathering of consumers by businesses
- Recent economy forces people to focus only on using their social time to be profitable
- Social groups become a business person’s primary market
Overtime, the like mindedness qualification of a social networking groups blurs to the social networking group being just a gathering of people. The social part is not realized until the individuals in the group discovered each person’s true intention. Once reliability to the social agenda is discovered the individual is then allowed into that person’s social circle..making it a niche or click.
Who joins a Social Networking Group? Everyone qualifies to belong to a Social Networking Group.
What goes on in a Social Networking Group? Theoretically, socializing is main activity of what is suppose to take place which it does to an extent but then that gravitates to a more class distinction aspect that has become a natural part of the process for today’s social networking.
Most of the classifications are based around age where the younger generations only want to socialize with their age group.
Business Networking Groups
Business Networking Groups have a much more simpler identity since they are a nearly always a gathering of business people. The agendas for these groups is to gain access to business leads or business develop. Social activities and events are usually created offline to facilitate this agenda.
- Self serving business environment
- All gather with the expectation of business being on the agenda
- Great place to connect to business leads and developments
- Draws in the “Its Only About Me’ individuals
- Limited in focus to becoming too much effort into forcing business out of members
Who joins a Business Networking Group? The primary targets for these groups are business owners and top executives in a decision making role. However, this has now changed to just about anyone in any position in a business since they can play a vital tool in finding someone within the company who can make the decisions needed to develop a business lead.
What goes on in a Business Networking Groups? Most of these groups offer monthly gatherings so members can keep in touch with business associates. Unfortunately, many of these groups fall pray to forcing everyone in the room to stand up and give one minute to tell everyone what they do. Years ago that was something that could be accomplished, but now with their being so many specialty companies announcing what someone does in one minute just does not server justice to that business or person. So now, groups are asking that members to bring business cards with as much information on the business that can be placed on the card.
Most of the Business Networking Groups will also have agendas with speakers and workshops.
There are many business models that cause the business networking group considerable stress. Usually a business that has a product that tends to need a large number of consumers to facilitate a profit are the businesses that cause these groups problems. They are not truly interested in who someone is but how many people they know. They feel they have the right to prey on anyone you know by getting you to introduce them to all of them. This lead the way to the internal decay of the group.
Many of these businesses are new versions of the pyramid scheme. Their presence in a Business Networking group usually results in members fleeing to find other business environments that do not allow these business models in the group.
Next Generation of Networking Groups
The downsides of both online and offline social and business networking groups is pushing ‘networking’ to be more specific. The evolution of social and business networking will move towards the groups turning into ‘Clubs’ where there are processes for review of who is allowed to be a member and who is not.
However Business Networking is moving to be more social. With business networking taking on a club model the members are going to want more out of the club than what was expected from a group. This will drive the clubs to find things that are more social to strengthen the business networking club’s purpose or agenda.
We should be seeing more business/social networking clubs forming soon. These clubs will have clear focus on who they would benefit the most. Gone will be the group mentality of having anyone and everyone to join for the soul purpose of reaching large numbers of members for sales collateral purposes only.
- Clubs will be focused groups or target markets which will move more advertisers to pay to advertise to the members of this club.
- Members will be motivated since the agendas and activities are clearly in their interests
- Functions for the club can be themed accordingly
- More invigorating and happier membership
- Current image of the term or phrase Club is not positive due to the younger generations lack of understanding of what a club’s functions are.
- Generally have to be premium membership fees to pay for administration staff to facilitate the club’s membership.
No matter what your interests are there is a group or a club that fits your needs. Humans are social beings and it has been proven they cannot live without some interact with other human beings. So, which groups or club suits you and are you ready for the future of social or business networking? Let me know how I can help.
The Business Golf Country Club is a prime example of a Business/Social Networking Club. Only in business golf can the social aspect of golf be favorably combined with the purposefulness of doing business. The BGCC is just getting started and already has gathered a substantial number of business people interested in getting to know each other better in a safe business environment. The New site for the club will be launched soon and will highlight how golf becomes a viable business tool. If you are a golfer, a business golfer, a professional golfer and/or a tour professional golfers, then this is the club for you. Join today so you can be the first to join the New BGCC site.