When I was coaching colleagues on using social media, I found that many people were unsure about who to connect with on the big three social engagement networks: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, so here are my top tips and tricks for making it easy and effective.
Twitter is Best For: Trends, News, and Solutions
- Review the "Who to Follow" recommendations Twitter shares on the right side of your Twitter web client and follow the ones that look interesting. Twitter will continue to personalize and add to that list over time.
- Look for experts in your field.
- Add people you meet face to face.
- Follow journalists and bloggers whose writing you admire.
- Take advantage of the top 100 lists of influencers publications compile and add them to a list.
- Keep an eye on trending hashtags for relevant Twitter voices.
If you have strong political, religious or controversial views on particular topics you intend to share on Twitter I recommend that you consider two handles: One for your professional life and one for your personal life.
Facebook: Personal Connections, Storytelling, and Targeted Advertising
Facebook makes suggestions of people you might know. It warms my heart when my friends find themselves interacting with each other about my posts and friend each other.
Because you have the opportunity to openly share your thoughts, opinions, and life events here with your friends, I recommend being discriminating about who you accept as friends. You can customize the "Who can see my posts" settings, but it's best to err on the side of under sharing.
Facebook's powerful ad platform enables advertisers to target with amazing accuracy, so you'll see ads customized to your interests.
LinkedIn: Powerful Professional Connection Tool
There are two schools of thought about LinkedIn connections. LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) accept connection requests from all. On the opposite spectrum are those who only connect with people they've met face to face.
I'm right in the middle of those extremes. I've created guidelines for myself that are not set in stone, but help me quickly scroll through and act on the 30+ connection requests I receive each week.
- If I've met someone face to face at a networking, professional or social event, I always accept those connection requests.
- I always accept connection requests from One Brick volunteers or TEDxSanJoseCA volunteers/attendees/vendors. Volunteering is a passion of mine, and I love making virtual connections that complement the real world ones.
- Because I've managed different LinkedIn groups for years, many group members request to connect. I rarely accept those. Group members can request to connect with fellow group members. Before you accept, review both their profile and their contributions to the group. If their only contributions are shameless self promotion, feel free to decline.
- Working for a company as large as IBM means that there are droves of IBMers on LinkedIn and I always accept connection requests from them.
- LinkedIn is optimized for recruiters. If you're open to discussion, accept them.