The more you connect, the more efficiently you connect; and the more credibly you connect, the more success you will have.
Social media networking enables people to connect more and more efficiently and cost effectively than ever before.
Social media has shifted the way people make, build, and nurture relationships. It gives you incredible new powers to create new business opportunities and connections for yourself and your company. Stated another way, it can be a game changer for you where properly applied.
When you consider the various ways that you can optimize your opportunities and improve the trajectory of your business career giving you the ability to truly up your game, the tools of today’s social media can be amazingly impactful:
A revolutionary way:
When I had an issue that needed resolution, I used to walk down the hall of my office and consult with colleagues to seek their advice. But this “old-school” method of corporate problem solving was time-intensive and limited in perspective – there were, after all, only a few people at that water cooler.
Today, there is a revolutionary way of getting things done and finding solutions brought to us courtesy of social media and commerce that has swept the Internet world. Going to lunch with Bob may be easy and comfortable, but it is incredibly inefficient and unlikely to have a significant impact on your future business.
Of course, you won’t just take Bob’s perspective, you’ll want the perspectives of many to make an informed decision. But that represents a whole lot of lunches. Instead, you can seek the knowledge of the masses to quickly and efficiently help you further your success in business.
For example, hiring a VP of marketing might take you days, if not weeks, to achieve if you asked one or two personal colleagues at the water cooler for recommendations. It can now be achieved in a matter of hours, if not minutes. People wonder all of the time at my capacity to get so many things done seemingly simultaneously. Let me tell you my dirty little secret: I don’t have just one or two friends helping me solve my business issues, I have thousands of them!
Don’t rely on old-school luck:
Through social media networking, I am able to effectively uncover the people who have specific expertise on any issue I may be confronting. I don’t rely on old-school luck that a colleague in the adjacent office will have the perfect solution. I do this by blasting questions, by categorizing, and by micro-targeting.
Let me explain how this works. Quite simply, I frame my question to thousands of internet connections and try to obtain the best possible result.
For example, if I am looking for a Sr. VP of Marketing with digital media experience, I can post a Facebook message to my 5000 Facebook friends that asks simply:
“Who is the best marketing person you know in matters related to digital media?”
In a matter of minutes, I will instantly have qualified resources offered through responding posts and emails.
Categorizing in social media:
One of the personal categories I use to organize my connections on my email accounts and on Facebook is “Marketing and PR“. Approximately 350 of my Facebook friends have backgrounds in this area. How do I know? Whenever I add a new Facebook friend, I religiously, and almost obsessively, study that person’s background and interests by perusing his or her profile. I, then, place that person into the appropriate lists or categories. So, when I am ready to find that VP of Marketing, I can quickly access my list of marketing contacts from my Facebook database and seek advice, ask for references, or pursue one of my Facebook friends as a possible candidate.
On LinkedIn, I have more than five million contacts that are only one degree of separation from me. In fact, using LinkedIn gives me the power to contact over 30 million people directly or through a connection. This allows me to search, as I frequently do, for qualified resources to find expertise in Information Technology, Computer Hardware, Software, Telecommunications and Wireless Markets, among others. This gives me a thousand times better results than asking Bob at the water cooler.
Micro-targeting is also a useful tool. LinkedIn allows me to send messages based on job title, location, size of company, or industry.
Let me share a real-life example. Several years ago, I was raising money for the Checketts Global Sports Fund, a $250 million fund whose investors own parts of professional sports franchises. I needed to quickly and effectively target high net-worth investors.
I targeted relevant categories within LinkedIn and blasted out an email to those targeted categories and successfully connected with millions of potential dollars in investment. Clearly, social media networking can increase your effectiveness through blasting questions, categorizing, and micro-targeting.
Compel the masses:
The possibilities are endless when you harness the tools that compel the masses. While the principles themselves are timeless, the marriage of principle and application create the synergy that we often see as an ìovernightî success. That missing link is what I believe many of you in business are hungering for but are somehow missing.
What old-school tendencies do you need to revolutionize? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Author: David Bradford, “The Bottlecap Kid”, is Executive Chairman and former CEO of HireVue, former CEO of Fusion-io, and a member of the Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame. Learn more about David at DavidBradford.com.