With recent events that have occured on Twitter with a small number of 'networking' businesses, thought it was a good time to go through some thoughts.
Firstly, the fundametal meaning of a social network.
"Social networking is the practice of expanding the number of one's business and/or social contacts by making through individuals. While social networking has gone on almost as long as societies themselves have excisted, the unparalleled potential of the internet to promote such connections is only now being fully recognised and exploited, through web-based groups established for that surpose" – http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/social-networking
GEOGRAPHY Some businesses may be regionally based whilst others can supply all over the country and beyond, so as such it's approropriate to let everyone know you can (without going overboard) through various networking hours that exist on Twitter.
USE OF HASH TAGS Can be a bone of contention in some areas, but rule of thumb has always been if you've won the competition, like #SBS use it. Now recently noticed a lot more UK businesses use the same hash tag but that's also as Small Business Saturday use the same hash tag. Some #SBS are also missing a trick by not utilsing the hash tag too as though it may be retweeted by a few (including myself), you don't know where it will reach and what business it will bring.
Staying on this subject, it's seems a 'networking' business is wanting businesses to 'sponsor hash tags' that it has no managament, involvement or have even won on Twitter. Thoroughly bad etiquette.
NETWORKING What Twitter is all about, to support and encourage business with retweeting, favouriting and talking about businesses. Now some have put it on themselves to block and actively discourage the networking of some such networks on Twitter by blocking those involved with the running and networking it brings which is fundamentally and cruelly restricting those businesses from using certain hours on Twitter.
BULLYING Was debating to out this in, but as the business has been directly affects by this within the #SBS Facebook group and by certain parties on Twitter thought it was time to air and bring to light. Businesses want to point out a view point or an idea that a minority of so called #SBS disagree with then are hounded out of the group and made to feel worthless within a largly supportive group. Now this was never the case, way back in 2011 the networking and supoortiveness of this network was beyond measure but with various things developing some #SBS think not only are they better than fellow winners but have more influence that what they actually have within the network.
THEO PAPHITIS #SBS Everyone has their own 'process' for marketing and targeting certain industies, which is understandable and some winners may not want to follow others, but I will leave you with this thought. Who do those businesses know? We all have our networks – on Twitter, physical networking and on other social media platforms. So we may know someone that could be in your desired market and could be a BIG client for you but as you've neither interacted nor followed your fellow #SBS you don't know what prospects you and your business could be missing out on.
Now, let's face it we may not all get on in the group but the fundamental principle applies that as a 2,000 plus networking group we're a positive force to be reconned with if pointed in the right direction. So let's support one another, help one another grow and make this group a beacon to inspire not a PR hungry, bullying, ego driven network which sadly seems to be happening.