Social Media Networking: Focus on Relationships

Rather often, we find that anything labeled as “social” is lumped into one big bucket. No matter what type of social tool is being used or analyzed, a large majority of people out there use social media, social networking, and similar terms interchangeably.

It is very important to understand the nuances between each individual type of social platform. A few months ago, we reviewed the various types of social media. If you have not seen that post, take a moment to read it before continuing.

Social Media: More Than Just Tools

There have been many blog posts asserting that we need to look beyond the tools. With so many platforms already available and the numbers proliferating by the day, it’s simply impossible to understand the minor details of every single platform.

But what you can do is look at the connections you are making on those platforms in a more holistic fashion. Think about how you are using these tools, and whether you are consistent and authentic on each of them. Consider how much of your network, or social graph overlaps multiple tools.

But most of all, think about the relationships.

Social Media Networking: Getting Back to Basics

If the tools and platforms are not the right place to look, then the networking capabilities and ability to connect are the secrets. I have become rather fond of the hybrid term “Social Media Networking.”

What do I mean by that term? It’s about turning your attention away from features, privacy policies, and pushing marketing messages or content out to anyone who has agreed to “friend” or “follow” you. And it’s about honing in on the reason we have these platforms in the first place – richer and more interesting media by which we can connect with each other in meaningful ways.

When you force yourself to thing of social media not just as tools and toys, but as vehicles for keeping tied into your social circle / social graph, you will find yourself spending time on completely different activities.

Self Audit: Social Media Networking Moment of Truth

Step back for a moment and ask yourself the following questions. Hold yourself to high standards. Really consider whether you are getting the most from your time and effort online. You owe it to yourself, and your social graph.

  • How much time do you spend on social platforms in a typical week?
  • How much of that time is spent making new connections, looking to build connections based on real interactions, and paying forward with help for those who need it?
  • Are you doing everything you can to position yourself as smart, useful, helpful, and a great person to know?
  • If you make a call for help via your favorite social platforms, how many people do you expect to come to your assistance?
  • What have you done this week to make someone’s day, week, month, or year better?

You don’t do these things by pushing your own agenda on anyone. It is a shared experience. How are you making the most of the opportunities to share a digital moment with your online and offline connections?