How Does The Number Of Contacts In Social Networks, Like LinkedIn, Benefit?

Having many contacts in an online social network, like LinkedIn, can be highly valuable thing. Value in a large network on LinkedIn is found through-
• More people to reach out to
• Deeper insight to relationship connections
• Find out who can serve as your advocate

More People to Reach Out To
For those of us who depend upon our social networks to accomplish goals, the size of that network can have a direct impact. You may be seeking a connection within specific companies or industries, and if your network is developed well you should be able to find help there.

One thing to bring up here is that shear size of your network does not guarantee success. So, do not fall prey to thinking that just by having a large number of people in your contacts you will accomplish much. More on this point in future posts.

Deeper Insight To Relationship Connections
The key aspect to LinkedIn that I find most useful is the ability to see how many connections are between you and someone else. Not only can you see how many connections you have to go through, now you know who you must go through to get a personal introduction.

As we begin to see just how our connections are able to assist us with an introduction to someone we are seeking out, a new issue arises for many of us. We begin to wonder if our bond with our immediate connection is strong enough to justify asking for help in making an introduction. This is a key point. Do not burn bridges. You just never know when a connection might be needed for a future introduction.

Find Out Who Can Serve As Your Advocate
This segues us into figuring out who our advocates are. As we figure out which connections lie between our target and us, we can start to piece together and strategize which connections might play a better role in advocating on our behalf. The art of asking for a connection is something for another post.

To the non-connected or novice to social networking this may sound completely shallow. In fact, depending upon how this part is handled it can be exactly that- shallow. Shallowness is not necessarily derived from the act of asking someone to become your advocate. Rather shallowness shows up in how you actually ‘make’ the introduction. I will expound on this in another article.

Until our paths cross again,

Rex

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