Social Media Part II

December 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm 2 comments

Background

small_groupsIn Social Media Part I, I discussed two views of the role of social media in networking. One view is that of limiting connections to an immediate circle of close confidants with multiple points of connection and the other is to expand the circle with contacts that you may only meet virtually. In Part II I will discuss the evolution of social media.

The Evolution of the Business Landscape globe

I certainly am not debating the importance of building relationships via traditional means with multiple points of connection. However, what I am proposing is that social networking and the Internet as a whole has transformed the way we are currently doing business, and is continuing to evolve the business landscape. For example, with my latest business venture, Cape Cod Branding, and the  previous business venture jrSedivy, I had not met a single client face-to-face. Client interactions took place exclusively through virtual means such as e-mail, phone calls, and instant messaging (IM). In my opinion the lack of a meeting did not slow down the process or weaken the relationship (I consider these relationships quite strong), and in many instances expedited the process due to communications occurring at each party’s earliest convenience, since they were after all occurring virtually.

Which Approach Works Best?

In my opinion as with many questions there is no absolute answer, really the answer depends on your needs and what you wish to accomplish. For me, the second approach of expanding one’s social circle is ideal and allows for the cataloging of contacts that I have come into contact with either virtually or in-person. To date, every social media contact has been helpful if called upon for a reasonable request, and in some circumstances I have been able to assist others, which in my mind makes this approach worthwhile and a win-win for both parties. Another advantage I have found with this approach is the ability to easily recall information about previous contacts. Social media tools generally have a comprehensive profile for each member which usually includes a picture and background information which in my experience helps trigger my memory about a previously met contact. Lastly, I have found that like any relationship, contacts established through social media have various degrees of strength which largely depend on common experiences and level of interest. For example, a contact made just through the sake of connecting may start the relationship. Once started we both discover we have a common interest in branding, which bumps it up a notch. Next we discover that we both possess military experience and have visited the same locations, which brings it up another couple levels, and so it goes. This does not mean that the first approach of limiting your network does not have merit, again, it depends on your overall objective. If you desire to operate a business with a target market within close proximity to your business the first approach may work best. The circumstances would allow for continual networking within the small community of geographically close individuals. However, there is opportunity cost here as your business will have limited exposure once outside the immediate community. lightbulb

What Does This Mean for My Business or Individual Career?

My advice is to try both approaches or a combination thereof. Try an approach, monitor the results, and then adjust. Use what works best for you and continue to evolve, my comments should serve as a starting point and not an end all. Also remember that what may work for you at one point, may not be as effective at another point and should be tailored based on your specific circumstance at a given moment in time.

To Be Continued… In Social Media Part III I will discuss social media brands.

Try an approach, monitor the results, and then adjust!

John Sedivy

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Entry filed under: John's Posts, Social Networking. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Social Media Part I Social Media Part III

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