Tag Archives | social networking

Should you start collecting more online friends?

Quantity – not quality – could be more important for social networking

The debate about the number of social networking contacts you should have has raged on for years. Indeed, even before the era of online social networking business leaders argued over whether you should cultivate a small group of contacts who you know well, or a large collection of people who you don’t have such deep relationships with. Is it the quality of your business network that matters, or the quantity?

This is a fairly polarised debate. Networking strategist Andy Lopata, for instance, argued that quality is more important than quantity in his blog post “Stop Playing the Numbers“. Yet another networking expert, Thomas Power, the founder of the world’s first business social network, Ecademy, argues that quantity is more important than quality, which he did in a recent edition of “The Global Networking Show“.

Online social networking has faced the same issue. Should you collect thousands of friends and followers or should you just focus on a small group. Professor Robin Dunbar has argued that we only have 149 people in our social groups on average anyway, something which has become known as “the Dunbar Number“. So how come there are people on Facebook with thousands of friends, or on Twitter with millions of followers? Do they know something we don’t? Have they realised that quantity is better than quality in some way?

As ever, research and testing can help provide the answer. Thankfully, research from social psychologists at North Carolina State University has found the answer:

Quantity beats quality.


Well, at least in terms of one measure – money. It turns out that the people who networked the most, who contacted the most people and who took every opportunity to build the number of people they were connected with were the ones who had the greatest increase in income. The people who focused on a smaller group of contacts, did not have the same degree of financial success.

So, at first sight, it seems that the psychologists have answered that age-old conundrum and pointed us in the direction of quantity over quality.

It seems sure, therefore, that if you build up your connections in your network you will make more money as a result.

Except all is not as it seems. Even though the research found that people with big networks made more money than those with small networks, it was the behaviour and attitudes of the people that were more important. The people with the big networks that made the most money were motivated by growth and advancement. In other words, they probably were making more money due to this characteristic of their personality rather than the size of their network. The network size is probably a reflection of their behaviour – they attract more people to want to connect to them because they are go-ahead people. They make more money because they are go-ahead, not necessarily through the size of their network.

It is not quality OR quantity

What the research really suggests is that you shouldn’t focus on quantity nor should you concentrate on quality. Instead, you should focus on your motivation. Concentrate on growth, on building your business and on reaching your goals. In doing so, your social network numbers will take care of themselves. You will inevitably increase the number of friends and followers as a result of your go-getting behaviour. But it will not be those numbers, on their own, that make the difference. It is your behaviour that will do that.

 

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Your boss uses social media more than you do

Research shows that company bosses like to use social networks at the same time as telling their staff to stop using them

A like message on enter keyboard for social media concepts.Company bosses have been shown as somewhat “two-faced” in a new study about the way business people use social media. Company bosses have been shown to be avid users of social networks, whilst telling their staff to stop using them because they waste their time.

The bosses create a strange argument that what is good for them and the company is not necessarily good for the people who work at the firm.

But when you look more closely at the study you discover that it is all down to personality.

Bosses tend to be extroverted individuals. The problem with extroverts is their “reticular activation system” – a part of the brain which could be considered akin to a central telephone exchange, feeding signals in all sorts of directions. In extroverts this system is rather under-powered. It needs regular “kicks” to keep it going. Introverts, on the other hand have a reticular activation system that is all systems go and doesn’t need constant booting up.

But how does the system get its “kicks”? Stimulation from the outside world is what is necessary. That’s why extroverts behave they way they do. They are always “up front” because it produces constant amounts of stimulation from the world around them so their reticular activation system can keep going. Introverts do not need this amount of stimulation for their brain and so they don’t do many of the things that extroverts do, simply because their brain has no need for them to do this.

Social media helps extroverts

The world of social media was made for extroverts. They can post anything they like, whenever they like and get instant feedback – the stimulation they crave subconsciously to keep their reticular activation system fired up. Often, people wonder why some people appear to live their life online, using Facebook and Twitter to announce even the most mundane aspects of their daily life. Indeed, why did the UK comedian Jason Manford recently announce on Facebook that he had found a lump on his testicle before he had even made an appointment to see a doctor? Someone who is extroverted doesn’t always consider the impact of what they are doing on social networks, instead they are driven by the need for feedback to keep their brain working.

Company bosses also need stimulation to keep their brain in gear and so it is no surprise that they too use social networks personally. They also tend to work much longer hours than many of their staff and so can find the extra time at work to engage in social media activities – probably often when the staff have gone home.

So, you might not think your boss is using social networks because you don’t see much evidence of it during the day. But after you have gone home, they’ll still be in the office connecting with their friends. They need the stimulation this brings – stimulation they do not need so much in the day when they are surrounded by colleagues.

 

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HootSuite Social Media Management

Book Cover of Easy Social Media ManagementThere are many different types of social media management systems and tools. They help you keep track of your many different social media networks, enable you to monitor social media better, and give you a way to respond faster. Whether you manage updates for your own business or you manage updates for someone else’s business, you need a simple way to monitor all the various social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, WordPress, Foursquare and more. Currently, one of the most recommended tools to use is HootSuite.

This book will help you get the most out of HootSuite.

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Categories: Using Social Media

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