Am I building networks or visibility?
Am I building a brand or am I looking for visibility? This is what my mentor asked me at our first meeting. The same question could be posed by active networkers- am I building trust networks or visibility? I will share three learnings from my past.
What’s the difference?
It is common in social networks to think that the more contacts, the better. While it is very important for a content producer to have a large audience, even more important is how active this audience is.
If you’re not an active content producer (there are less than 20% of them on social media networks), then I can pretty much say that a large number of contacts won’t produce the expected results for you. Why?
We tend not to buy just because we like someone, at least we don’t do bigger purchases or business deals based on liking. We need something more.
A large number of social contacts does not automatically mean
that you can be trusted.
Quantity and quality do not grow at the same rate. The quality of networks has been studied to be more important in terms of its usefulness than quantity. One of the most important factors in quality is trust. A large number of social contacts does not automatically mean that you can be trusted.
Trust. At this point, it is good to remember that trust is never absolute. For some, they’re ready to open up about personal heartache and secrets, but certainly not ready to take on business advice.
If you do not have instrumental ties (instrumental ties are formed when we work with other people to achieve a goal) with people in your network of contacts, then it is very rare for them to come through work or business proposals.
Another question that my mentor has asked me is “Aide, do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?”. If I wanted to be the country manager in a small market or middle management in a big market. From this, too, I learned that what I aim for in networks is important to formulate.
I myself have over two thousand contacts and by no means can I remember who everyone is. Except, those who stand out from the crowd. In the middle of a large number, an “own tribe” has formed. In addition to instrumental ties, my own tribe includes those who regularly respond and interact with my posts. Best way to belong to the “tribe” of someone who has important digital contact is to be active.
Define what your “pond” is, who is with you in that “pond” and be active. Even if you have not cooperated offline, you can always stand out positively and confirm that the person important to you will notice and remember you.
If you want to be remembered as lazy, then press the “Like” button for posts. C’mon! Anyone who has spent time in social media long enough knows that people tend to think that you put your thumb up even if you don’t read the post. We do so when we are not ready to concentrate on others thoughts but want to show they are ok. We press “Like” because he’s a ok person and who knows, maybe you will need him in future. Just in case. Am I wrong?
Likes in today’s online environment have suffered a huge devaluation.
Likes in today’s online environment have suffered a huge devaluation. When you hope to be noticed, write a positive comment with more than two words!
The third lesson is from my young adulthood. As a lively, curious young woman, there were various friends around me. At times, my parents were perhaps rightly concerned. “Hanging out with those people will lead you to trouble!” The idea behind this was, that connections lead you to certain actions and will allow you to use opportunities. Both, good and bad ones.
More important than the number of contacts is where these connections lead and how they connect the otherwise unconnected
More important than the number of contacts is where these connections lead and how they connect the otherwise unconnected, that is, how many SuperConnectors are in your network. Why are they important?
Although, we have a theory that only six contacts separate us from any person in the world (Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other). More and more studies show that only the contacts less than 3 steps away are important. Crucial “key pathways” are step 1 and step 2 contacts, only in rare cases step 3 contacts.
Ask yourself, who is the person in my network who can reach everyone else in two steps or less? Such people in your network are worth their weight in gold, they have access to ideas and information. They are probably the best innovators because they are able to combine ideas and information found in different places into new products and services.
So in order to be effective, start by:
- looking for Super Connectors through digital platforms,
- contact them
- confirm that you belong to their “digital tribe”
- build trust by producing useful content, positive comments, current information, or innovative ideas
Good luck and hope we will meet face to face some day soon!