Employers Reward Savvy Networkers Who Don’t Fear Strangers


Size matters when it comes to salary negotiations

The larger your social network, the higher paid you’re likely to be. According to Anderson Analytics, the $200k+ crowd is spectacularly outgoing, at least from behind their laptops.

Most contact involves complete strangers, since the outside limit on real friends might be as high as 50 and probably closer to five, per Fast Company. Your worth in the job market may depend on your ability to engage the 57,562 people in your LinkedIn Innovative Marketers group – or whatever mega church (metaphorically speaking) that is the place of worship for your industry or occupation.

In Sunday’s New York Times, Cisco CEO John Chambers admits social media is key to his mega-salaried job, even though he characterizes himself as a “command and control” kind of guy, who was pushed from below to engage with all 67,000 people who work for him.  A new and true believer, he won’t hire anyone who isn’t “naturally inclined toward collaboration,” in the Web 2.0 kind of way.

How do you prove just how collaborative you are, and hence what you’re worth?

Like a Topps athlete’s trading card, stats about the sheer number of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn friends, followers and connections are just a starting point, especially with the current cap on Twitter. What traders will pay largely comes down to your perceived value. That cascades from what you do to attract and engage followers, just like a business or celebrity.

Surprisingly, most of the highest earning athletes don’t post the biggest numbers on the playing field. They get paid a base, plus performance bonuses from their teams. But, where do these folks make the majority of their income? Personality-driven sponsorships deals.

According to Forbes magazine, “This explains why Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the highest earner (among NASCAR drivers) at $35 million … despite winning only one race…. Earnhardt’s endorsements and licensing royalties made him $23 million… His salary and race winnings accounted for (just) $12 million.”

Employers aren’t buying you. They are buying your trading card, your perceived value. What’s a fair price and how can you influence it?

Tips for increasing compensation offers

1.    Improve your social media metrics, the quantity of friends and followers you have, but avoid black hat techniques or you’ll be labeled a cheater.

2.    Improve the quality of your social media actions. Your posts, tweets and invites are the often over-looked quality metric that takes more work. “Going for coffee” is over. Re-tweeting your industry guru is better. Linking to an online industry article you’ve written: very valuable because it may draw the following that leads to higher compensation.

3.    Google or Bing yourself, more often than you check your credit report. Learn what recruiters know about you, before they do.