A proverb from ancient times states that “a cord of three strands cannot be easily broken.” As an analogy, I believe that the more personal connections you have with a person, the more robust the relationship between you and that person will be.
When building my social graph or my network of contacts, I create relationships on three different sites: LinkedIn. Facebook. and Twitter. In some cases, I have connections on all three social networks.
As we understand each other, the connectivity will usually start on one network and then expand to two, three, or even more networks. It is logical to build on the relationship and continue to grow it to include sites where both of us have a presence.
I am focused on establishing three-fold connections with individuals. It would be best if you leveraged your presence on these sites to connect with other people who are also present on them. Social networking is all about socializing. Each platform has advantages, but all three are necessary to create the most vital connections.
What are the three most important social networks for business if the “cord of 3 strands” theory is correct? My experience has led me to recommend LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
You can find us on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the business suit. Although it isn’t very conversational, people still expect you to be on LinkedIn. It lends you a certain amount of credibility as a professional and requires little maintenance.
LinkedIn, according to its website, is a network of over 35 million professionals in business from 170 different industries and 200 different countries. The site is intended to help you find qualified professionals to collaborate with to achieve your goals.
I long ago viewed LinkedIn as a way to find employees or jobs. It was a complete profile but nothing more. I updated it, hoping an employer would someday offer me my dream job.
LinkedIn is more than just an online job board. This social network allows you to find others in your industry, connect with vendors and consultants, grow your business, and generate leads.
If LinkedIn is your suit of business, Facebook is your casual business attire. It allows a more 360-degree view by combining your professional and personal side. Facebook is more conversational than LinkedIn.
About four years ago, I visited my son at college. He was a college junior at the time. He showed me photos that he posted on a website called Facebook. I knew of the site but had no idea it was anything other than a network for college students. Back then, Facebook would not allow you to register if you didn’t have an.edu address.
I asked him about the website. Its unique features, such as the now-famous Wall, photo galleries, and status messages intrigued me. I thought it would be nice if Facebook were available to more users than college students. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, opened the platform to everyone over 13 years old in all 2of 006.
Since then, Facebook users have become older. In February 2009, the demographic segment of women 55 years and more senior was one of the fastest-growing segments on the network.
The number of Facebook users is increasing in almost all age and gender groups, but the growth rate among women in virtually all age groups is faster than that among men. The fastest-growing age group is those aged 26-30. 45% of Facebook users in the US are now over 26.
Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has over 300,000,000 users, and five million new ones join weekly. These numbers show that social media has become mainstream. Businesses should pay attention to these statistics and establish a presence on the site.
Twitter is the business social networking cocktail hour. If LinkedIn is like your business suit and Facebook your casual attire, Twitter is what you wear to interact informally and casually with thousands of other people.
Twitter interaction is real-time, whereas LinkedIn engagement tends to be more latent. Twitter is the most informal network and offers the highest level of conversation.
As I think about it, I’m convinced that participation in all three major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – is necessary for every business.