What are online social networks good for?

4312985916 a2ab8a2e68 m What are online social networks good for?I think I started with Facebook years ago. Not sure why, but the ability to connect with long-forgotten friends and keep them around for “just in case” seemed attractive.

Then I had a phase when I approved everyone as a friend which quickly created a huge mess. Facebook is great if you keep it to your circle of friends and should be used in that way only. Otherwise you may miss an important event because a guy you don’t really know keeps sending all these spammy updates.

I use it to store photos of travels as well, it is a convenient way of having it. If I already decided to share my photos online, well at least then let my friends see them easily.

I long haven’t understood Twitter and it seems to be the spammiest of all the tools. Currently I use it the bad way, following almost everyone that follows me. That’s insane.

In my view Twitter should be used in these two scenarios:

  1. If you are a celebrity, you just want to have as many followers as possible. You can tweet about how you just scratched your back and everyone will be cool about it
  2. Just follow people you are truly interested in what they have to say. This means you would normally follow only up to 100 people and that you would actively engage in dialogue with them but also with the people who follow you. I need to go this route but clearing my twitter account will take a lot of time.

I was never a fan of LinkedIn and oh boy was I wrong. Today I consider it the most useful of the social networks because it is so targeted.

LinkedIn allows you to build your business network. You should be very strict about whom you allow in your circle, and the stricter you are the more powerful your profile becomes.

Connect to people you have successfully worked with in the past and try to get introduced to people whose work you have been following. This often means slowly expanding your network to their 3rd and 2nd level contacts, building up the relations as you go.

When sending a request to someone you don’t know very well make sure you write a personal message, explaining why you want to connect with them. Never use the default LinkedIn message, even when contacting good friends (saying just “how are you today?” is much better). When you send a request with a default message, it tells you don’t really care.

Lot of people do not realize that LinkedIn is the best search engine in the world for business. LinkedIn excels at finding work or hiring someone, something we are usually obsessed about.

Recently I revamped my LinkedIn profile and the views to it more than doubled as it appears now in more relevant searches.

You need to find the time to invest in fixing your neglected profile, and add as much relevant information as possible. The return on investment for your time is by far the best on LinkedIn of all the online social networks.

And finally Google+. I haven’t yet created a profile there so I don’t have much to say apart from why I didn’t do it.

First, realistically I do not have the time to invest in managing another account. And secondly, I more and more fear Google.


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