“Relationships are more important than ever, particularly when it comes to doing business,” says Maribeth Kuzmeski, author of The Connectors.
And these days, social networking—through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter—is how many people make and strengthen their connections.
Kuzmeski says that using a few simple rules of thumb can help make your social networking more efficient. For example, she says, “Just like your real-life relationships, you should be picky about who you make connections with online.”
In other words, it’s about quality not quantity. Kuzmeski’s advice:
• Who cares how many contacts you have? Don’t get caught up in accumulating more friends on Facebook, or tweeting every day. You can actually be more successful if you use your time revamping the connections you already have.
“Don’t press yourself to make so many social networking connections that you end up in a situation where you can’t keep up with and strengthen them.
• Aim for less screen time, more face time. Your goal should be to make connections that you actually see outside of your computer screen.
“Twitter users call this a ‘tweetup’ ... For example, at conferences, Twitter is used by attendees to arrange to meet after the show for discussion, cocktails and parties.”
• Single out the ones who matter most. Whom in your social network do you truly care about? Which relationships have been left to languish? Make a point to see each of them in person at some point in the next few months.
“Of course you’re busy,” says Kuzmeski. “We all are. But you can’t let that be your excuse for not making the time to connect with people in person.
And once you’ve done that, you can use all the other tools as a way to continue your relationship throughout the rest of your busy year!”