Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, LinkedIn and the long list of other social networks vying for attention have captured plenty of media coverage as millions ofpeople jump on the bandwagon. The tools make it easy to build large lists — a “network” of followers, friends and so-called colleagues. Many people forget that it’s not about how big your network is.
British anthropologist Robin Dunbar pegged the optimal number of meaningful relationships at about 150, theorizing that “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, andthat this in turn limits group size … the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained.” As Jeff Pulver likes to say (and emphasizes in his 140 Characters conferences) it’s about building relationships. It’s about strengthening existing relationships and building new ones. Relationships allow you to grow personally and professionally. Relationships allow companies like Zappos to build fanatical customerloyalty and grow your business.
If you are not using these tools to build relationships, you’re missing the true value of social networks.
How are you using social media to strengthen connections with friends, family, associates or clients?