Managing your online identity is becoming very challenging because multiple social networks are launched each week and we all suffer from information overload. How do you keep up with everything, without losing your sanity? You don’t want to join every new social network, create a profile and start communicating on it because that’s not a scalable solution for any individual. Instead, you want to understand what you’re objectives are, and classify each network as either a personal network or a mass communication network.
A personal network revolves around your inner circle of friends and family; whereas a mass communication network that allows you publish one message to hundreds or thousands of people who are interested in hearing what you have to say. These people could be in your professional network or just followers of your work.
- Facebook profile: Most people use their profiles to keep in touch with people who they know directly, instead of accepting random friend requests.
- Google Buzz: Everyone who uses Gmail now has “Buzz,” which is great for talking amongst numerous friends within a single message.
- Email / Instant Messaging: These are both mediums to connect one to one, instead of one to many.
Mass communication network
- Facebook fan page: Instead of blocking people, who want to be your friend, forward them to a separate professional fan page on Facebook.
- Twitter: Each tweet you publish will be distributed publicly to everyone who follows you.
- Blogs: One of the main objects of a blog is to gain subscribers and to communicate posts consistently to them.
- LinkedIn: You should accept all requests so that your network expands exponentially, from first to third degree contacts.
Why do I need both?
The people that will go out of their way to support you are your inner circle and they should get treated differently than your audience at-large. It’s the same as giving your loyal customers a coupon, or a free beverage or a VIP card. Your personal network deserves not only more attention, but a different level of interaction than your entire audience. This also goes back to the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your business
comes from 20% of your customers. When it comes to networking, as noted in Me 2.0, 80% of your time should be used to create stronger relationships with 20% of your network (the percent that is crucial to your personal growth and development).
Mass communication network
Don’t rule out all of your followers, most of whom you don’t know by name or even by face. By using the above social networks as tools to connect to a large audience, you can be more well known and convert people from readers into acquaintances and then into friends. Of course not everyone of your followers will become a member of your trusted personal network though. A mass communication network allows you to get your message out to more people who want to hear from you and in effect pulls people into your world.
How do you manage your personal network? What tools do you use to communicate to the masses?