Social Networking Cord of Three Strands
An ancient proverb states, "A cord of three strands is not easily broken." That maxim is more than a observation about the tensile strength of rope and speaks to the bond formed between human relationships. I believe it also has application where social media is concerned.
I like to think of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as the social media three-fold cord. As such, I think it's useful, at least on an individual level, to connect with others in all three venues. Allow me to present my rationale.
LinkedIn is Your Business Suit
LinkedIn was built specifically to serve as a channel to conduct business. Typically, you won't find humorous videos about cats here. Instead, it is a tool used for job recruitment, sales and marketing, and building vendor partner relationships, among others.
When you connect with someone via LinkedIn, you catch a glimpse of their business side. That limited view may suffice for some, but I want to gain a more holistic perspective.
Facebook is Business Casual
Most people think of Facebook as a tool for personal use, which is precisely why I include it as one channel in this three-fold cord analogy.
We all want to do business with people we know, like and trust, correct? I can think of no other social network where you can get to know another person better than Facebook.
If you were to look at my Facebook Profile you would find status updates reflecting both my business and personal side. Similarly, if you peer at my News Feed, you would see posts from both business friends and family members alike.
That's why I refer to Facebook as "business casual." It can provide you with a 360 degree view of another person, depending on their privacy settings, of course.
Twitter is a Social Networking Cocktail Party
Do you ever attend after hours social networking cocktail parties sponsored by your local Chamber of Commerce or economic development organization?
The purpose of those types of events is to meet and greet, share business cards, and get introduced to other business people whom you may not know. Think of Twitter as a virtual representation of that.
Actually, there are a number of analogies I use to describe Twitter. One of my favorite is to think of social networks as a house. Facebook is the family room and LinkedIn is the home office. If you have a blog, that constitutes the library or study.
Where does that leave Twitter? It's the front door and foyer. It's the place where you meet new people and break the ice. Then, if you choose, you can invite them in!
Advantages to Building a Three-Fold Connection
I can think of two distinct advantages to connecting with individuals on these three networks.
It allows you to gain a more comprehensive view of another person. LinkedIn shows you his or her business side, while Facebook presents more of a personal angle. Twitter allows you to know what's on the person's mind at any given moment.
It strengthens your social graph. By connecting on several social networks, it gives you the opportunity to build a stronger relationship than connecting on a single network could provide.
One word of caution: Don't do this all in one fell swoop! Take time to get to know the person on one network, then, over time, connect with them elsewhere.
Not everyone you seek to connect with will be receptive, but you may be surprised at how many are. As such, consider implementing a three-fold cord connection strategy to meet new people, strengthen customer relationships and build your business.