I’ve been pretty impressed, as I started the week with 135 LinkedIn connections and sit before you on a Friday evening with 220. I finally held my breath as I read through the list of 700+ people from my Outlook contacts and GMail address book. After removing awkward first dates, a workplace stalker, and difficult former clients, I sent invites to the remaining contacts. Each time an email comes through confirming how I’m now networked to someone I vaguely remember interacting with in some way (or not), I’m impressed with the near blind willingness to accept.
The process of “friending” on Facebook is super personal, and there’s that awkward moment early in a workplace relationship when you need to evaluate if you should befriend someone. On Twitter, I’m moderately selective, and don’t automatically follow back new followers. On Yelp, I accept nearly all requests, but occasionally turn down users clearly building huge friend lists who otherwise have no content to add to the site.
Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate these people accepting my invites as I beef up my social networking profile and brand myself more professionally online. And some of them have really cool jobs; I’m now connected to a woman who I approached in a sales role and runs Miami Culinary Tours and producers at National Geographic who must reside in my work email list. I’m just kind of digging how all I did was ask, and since LinkedIn is legit (the IPO this week probably didn’t hurt), I’ve added nearly 100 people to my growing professional network.
Speaking of asking, The Atlantic put out this infographic last Friday, citing how nearly 100% more “asks” come from twitter (“follow me,” “RT to win,” etc) than Facebook. Makes sense to me, since I’ve been championing the uses of Twitter for small, hyperlocal business marketing, but have to really think up innovative ways to draw followers to my clients’ Facebook pages.
Every day, social media legitimizes itself more as a force to be reckoned with and a necessary business tool and investment. So, whether we’re growing the reach of a client brand or we wanna improve our own social network “klout,” it can never hurt to ask.