Whether you are a wide-open networker, like Viveka or Mari, or a strategic networker, like Peggy, you’ve probably had to spend a little time deciding who you will befriend and who you will ignore on your various social networks.
Note: This blog jointly written by Viveka von Rosen, Mari Smith and Peggy Dolane and is an example of the power of social marketing.
Viveka von Rosen, @linkedinexpert
Viveka Von Rosen is the CSMO (Chief Social Media Officer) of Integrated Alliances, and the Social Media and Marketing Director for The Executive Center. A victim of expensive and ineffective traditional marketing, Viveka was able to double TEC’s business through social and F2F networking. It is now her passion in life to help others build their businesses through social media strategies.
I am what you might call a promiscuous networker. In fact, I never say no to anyone (on LinkedIn that is.) Folks like me are known in LinkedIn as LIONS (LinkedIn Open Networkers). And to be completely transparent, LinkedIn doesn’t like us much.
Since I am in the field of social media strategy and marketing, I feel I need a giant network as a service to my clients. In numbers this means I have 4200+ direct connections and 17+ million in my LinkedIn Network (and growing). Both my Twitter and Facebook networks are significantly smaller only because I am a late-comer to both. It has been my experience, that the larger the network, the bigger the portal into the LinkedIn world, and the more likely I am to find the diamond amongst the gravel that my clients are looking for. It’s true that I might not be able to give the warmest introduction to someone I don’t know well, (unless I do) but I am at least able to give an introduction. A large network is most useful for Job Seekers and people in Sales and Recruiting where it is a numbers game.
“C” level folks will probably want to remain “LaMBs” (“Look at My Buds”) LaMBs (like Peggy) know everyone in their network, and if you are lucky enough to connect with one, you will find their network much more useful than a LION network. LIONs love LaMBs. I can contact Peggy and I know she knows everyone in her network and could, should she choose, give me a very warm written, perhaps even verbal recommendation.
Mari Smith @marismith:
Mari Smith is a Relationship Marketing Specialist and Social Media Business Coach. Dubbed the Pied Piper of the Facebook by Fast Company, Mari helps entrepreneurs to grow their business profits using an integrated social marketing strategy.
For Facebook®, I would call myself a strategic networker more than an open networker. My strategy from the get go (July 2007) was to reach out to all the big name influential people I could find in my industry: authors, speakers, trainers, internet marketers, even celebrity actors, etc. If certain people were not yet on Facebook, I would find a way to contact them and help them get set up (which is why Fast Company calls me “the Pied Piper of Facebook®!”)
Then, what I endeavor to do consistently is what I call “Radical Strategic Visibility.” Because of the News Feed feature of Facebook®, by deliberately and strategically choosing all my activities, I can show up in the feeds of these highly influential friends to the point they contact me.
I like to say “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know… and *who knows you.*” Facebook® provides an unprecedented opportunity to position yourself consistently as THE go-to person in your niche/industry.
Peggy Dolane, @freerangemom
Peggy Dolane, principal at Provient Marketing, designs affordable marketing programs and writes engaging copy that turns your audience into customers.
My strategic network isn’t huge – it’s somewhere around 300 people. That includes about 100 people I follow closely on Twitter, about 100 LinkedIn contacts (all of whom I have worked with or know personally), about 100 Outlook contacts, and perhaps 50 friends on Facebook. I’m not counting the hundreds of families I know through my kid’s school, church or community service projects I’ve been involved in – but I probably should!
What it doesn’t have in numbers, it makes up in relationships. I define my strategic network as my community – people I know well enough to ask for a favor. My goal is to build relationships, not numbers of contacts. I don’t accept every invitation I get on LinkedIn, for example, because every one of my LinkedIn contacts are people I’d feel confident in recommending their work and having it reflect back on me. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t actively mine LinkedIn via participating in groups and answering questions as opportunities to connect to new people. (Just email me for free copy of my LinkedIn Marketing Checklist.)
I am an open networker on StumbleUpon, Digg, and BizNik. I use these networks to reaching out to new and broader audiences. Frankly, I’m still growing into my open network strategy. I believe open networking has great value, but I’m still cautiously opening my network doors. I’m fairly open on Twitter – following back nearly anyone who looks like I have something in common with and who isn’t just amassing followers.
People to Follow
One of the great things about networking is meeting new people. With that in mind we thought we’d introduce our readers to people we think you might be interested in following:
- Kelby Carr, http://twitter.com/typamom, Kelby is the founder of a revenue-sharing website focused towards work at home moms. She’s always generous with retweets and stumbles, plus she’s a pleasure to interact with.
- Lucretia Pruitt, http://twitter.com/geekmommy, she’s always in the know. Dedicated to having real relationships with real people. Great to follow on BackType as well.
- Jessica Smith, http://twitter.com/jessicaknows, Jessica doesn’t just follow people she creates networks such as MomForce, a marketing temp agency.
- Patrick Byers, http://twitter.com/patrickbyers, Patrick is marketer exploring responsible marketing practices.
- Joel Postman, http://twitter.com/jpostman, smart, friendly and funny to boot.
- Alex de Carvalho, http://twitter.com/alexdc, savvy social media marketer and teacher at UMiami.
- Dave Taylor, http://twitter.com/DaveTaylor, Dave is a local Social Media, Blogging and SEM guru with an international following.
- Joel Comm, http://twitter.com/JoelComm, besides being a friend and author of many SEM book, Joel created iFart – the #1 iPhone app.
- Deb Frey, http://twitter.com/DaVinciDeb, Got Viveka started on Twitter and her company “The DaVinci Institute” offers amazing classes and networking ops.
- Thomas Frey, http://twitter.com/ThomasFrey, Deb’s husband, huge thought leader & futurist and the founder of DaVinci.
- David Meerman Scott, http://twitter.com/DMScott, author of great social media sales books, and a very helpful Tweeter.
- Kevin Houchin, http://twitter.com/KevinHouchin, great WordPress “go to” guy.
- Ellie Mirman, http://twitter.com/Ellieeille, delightful Tweeter – and an integral member of Hubspot.
- Mike O’Neil, http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeoneil , CEO of Integrated Alliances – premier LinkedIn training site
- Lori Ruff, http://www.linkedin.com/in/loriruff, CAO of Integrated Alliances
- Stan Relihan, http://www.linkedin.com/in/stanrelihan — Great blogs on LinkedIn – LinkedIntelligence
- Shally Steckerl, http://www.linkedin.com/in/shally, another LinkedIn Expert
- Dawn Todd, www.linkedin.com/in/executivelifecoach , Excellent Networking Maven
- Mike Witt, http://digg.com/users/wittmc — Mike’s passion is helping people grow their at-home businesses. He’s got a network of 750+ friends on Digg that he uses judiciously, without spamming.
- Chris Brogan, President, New Marketing Labs, a social media agency and education company. Facebook Fan Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Brogan/47204195263 –
- Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research and popular web strategist. Web Strategy Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2591582686
- Ali Brown, Founder & CEO of Alexandria Brown International, leading women worldwide to create amazing lives for themselves via entrepreneurship. http://www.facebook.com/people/Ali-Brown/1014936080
- Kevin Nations, Specialist in Big Ticket profits. Facebook® Fan Page – http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Nations/515800345
We plan to explore how we grow our networks. But in the meantime, what type of networker are you? Lion, Lamb or something else all together?
We hope you’ll leave a comment here about your networking style, then join us LIVE on Twitter on Wednesday, January, 14, 2009, 8 – 9 p.m. Eastern Time to explore more about the pros and cons of open vs. strategic networking. You’ll have a chance to meet a great group of people, and who knows, even learn something!