An ancient proverb states that a "cord of three strands is not easily broken." By way of analogy, I hypothesize that the more individual connections to a person, the stronger your overall relationship with that person.
In constructing my social graph (i.e., my network of connections), I build relationships at three sites: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. In some cases, I have connections with people on all three networks.
The connectivity usually begins on one network and gradually extends to two or three networks, and sometimes more, as we get to know each other. It seems logical and natural to continue the relationship cycle, building to sites where we both have a presence.
My focus is on creating threefold connections to individuals. It's not enough that you have a presence on each site, but that you leverage your presence to connect with others who also have a presence on those sites. Social media is about being social. Each platform offers distinct advantages, but you need all three to build the strongest connection.
If the "cord of three strands" philosophy is true, what are the top-three social networks for business? Based on my experience, I recommend LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
LinkedIn is your business suit. It is not very conversational in its orientation, but people expect you to have a profile there. The network lends a degree of professional credibility—and requires the least amount of upkeep.
According to its Web site, LinkedIn is an interconnected network of more than 35 million business professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. It is designed to be a place where you can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals with whom you need to work to accomplish your goals.
Paul Chaney is a veteran digital marketing consultant, trainer, writer, editor, and author of four books, including The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media. Reach him via firstname.lastname@example.org.
LinkedIn: Paul Chaney