This week I have enjoyed listening to the audio version of the new book from Facebook researcher, Paul Adams. Entitled 'Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence on the Social Web' the book explains how influence really works in Social Networks. It does this in a simple and effective way and as this review from Brilliant Noise explains the book also "... adds a great deal of depth, effectively collating and structuring a mass of academic research on social media, networks and influence more broadly."
This explanation of how influence really works backed up with solid evidence is essential for understanding 'Word of Mouth' and therefore how you win business through networking. I have written before in 'The Networking Numbers Myth' about some of the ideas covered by this book in explaining how networking really works in business.
People often think business networking is about constantly meeting as many new people as possible. Influence is not built in this way. Influence, advocacy and positive word of mouth are built by investing time in building relationships and making the right friends in business. It is these small groups of friends that get you access to the people you want to do business with.