Posted by: drewdice | September 11, 2009

I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you…..

As a big proponent of social networking, I work to maintain meaningful connections on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. Admittedly, there are many super users of these vehicles (and others) who have it down much better than I do. At the same time, there are a few core beliefs I have in regards to making social networking actually “work”. I share them with you because each day, I see so many people violating what I consider to be common courtesy and etiquette, and cannot help but believe that this type of behavior is what keeps so many other people from engaging in social networking. I believe:

– Social networking actually has nothing to do with you (on the front end, anyway). Like you’ve probably been told many times over, if you help others get what they want, in the end, you’ll get what you want (and then some). Know your audience, whether it is your friends, classmates, current colleagues, potential prospects, or former clients. Know what interests THEM. Find information that connects with these interests, and share it! You may be amazed at how well people respond when you actually pay attention to what is important to them

– Act as if you were face to face. At “in person” events, people joke about the man/woman who shows up at every event, randomly walking up to people, handing out and collecting as many business cards as possible, and making a complete nuisance of herself (or himself). We can see these characters coming from a mile away, and avoid them at all costs. The same holds true online! Don’t show up in groups where you have no value to add, and just plaster your company’s message and pitch all over the place. Not only is it ineffective, but it puts a lasting stamp on that person as someone who just doesn’t get it. Forget finding meaningful connections, recommendations or referrals. Not happening.

-Be a child (in some ways). Remember the natural curiosity that young children possess and display? They are always watching, processing, asking questions, digesting information and data, and learning. Don’t lose that…ever. Social networking is a great vehicle for learning. Ask relevant questions to the right audiences. Not only will you learn, but also you’ll show a true vulnerability that will endear you to others. Noboby likes a know it all, and others do like to share some of their wisdom, when asked.

If we really want social networking to bloom as much as it should, we’ve got to help others use the tools more effectively. Ask what people and companies seek to gain from their use, and connect them with resources that can properly guide them. Start with your own effort, and the seed will continue spreading.

In so many cases, it appears that Carly Simon hit it on the head years ago.


  1. Love Carly Simon and what a great connection to her song!
    Oh…and I totally agree with your blog.

  2. You make an excellent point, forgotten in the roar of social media acceptance: be a child, as questions, stay open to learning from others. Good stuff!

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