How are you using your social networks?

Posted by Faye on July 17, 2010 in The Social Networks |

How are you using your social networks?

Are you just a friend collector, or do you really want to get to know the people you’re networking with online? Do you use  Facebook, for example, for the same reason you use Twitter?

I’ve been flitting around in the social media space since November 2008, when a grad school colleague invited me to Facebook. Since then I’ve taken a huge interest in some of the more popular social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Delicious, YouTube, and now this blog. And these seven are about all I have time for right now.

What fascinates me are the similarities and differences between the social networks, and how quickly these networks can connect us all.

I’ve networked professionally through organizations like Ad Fed and the Columbus AMA.  Before the Internet, offline (face-to-face) was the only way to network with people. There were no profile updates, friend requests, clicking on links, or checking out someone’s profile.

Face-to-face networking

In the ’90s networking was a long process. You had to join an organization. I’ll use Ad Fed as my example. Attending monthly meetings or events wasn’t enough to get to know people. You had to volunteer, join a committee, get involved. Getting involved meant spending an hour or two a week going to committee meetings, accepting assignments, and working together on projects for the organization. The time spent contributing to the team was the quality time you had to get to know people.

Online networking

Today there are all kinds of channels to connect with people online. In fact the number of social networks out there is rather overwhelming. I use some of my online networks as tools to eventually connect offline. For me, each social network has its own purpose.

In future posts I’ll discuss some of the social networks I use, and the different reasons I have for using each one. Which social networks do you use and why? Do you have a different objective for each one? Different target audiences? Are you on Twitter for the same reasons you are on LinkedIn? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Robb says:

    Very good Faye I knew you had it in you.

  • Faye says:

    Thanks for reading Robb. Took a while to get this blog up and running!

  • Chris says:

    Very good, Faye. I struggle in using these sites for business purposes. I work in printing and, while most people in my network are web/networking savvy, I find that information about printing doesn’t really resonate at the Twitter or LinkedIn levels. How about you with newspaper? What do you tweet about?

    • Faye says:

      Hey Chris, I consider LinkedIn a more professional networking platform, where I have participated in the Newspaper Professionals discussions. Twitter is kind of a mix of personal and professional. For example, much of what I tweet about consists of sharing information about social media and retweeting important information that I’ve learned from others. Of course I also use it to share my experiences and opinions, as well as participate in the Bachelor/Bachelorette conversations on Monday nights. (Did I just admit to that on this blog?)

  • Michele Kennedy says:

    Nice article Faye. It’s a good discussion to have as people – everyone – is figuring out where social media will take us.

    I love FB for friends and family, and LI for professional. But honestly, I don’t use Twitter because I feel a bit overwhelmed with it. I joined, started following about 10 – 13 different people/entities, and then thought what could I write about in 140 characters that would be interesting and useful? I think I just have to get past the idea of “Following”. This word brings pressure with it for me, so I haven’t logged in for months.

    I wonder if others feel the same way with Twitter.

    • Faye says:

      Thanks Michelle…I started using Twitter when I was doing research for my capstone paper for grad school, and for a long time I didn’t get it. You have to use it a while before you can understand its purpose. For me, it’s basically sharing important information and links that you feel your followers would be interested in.

  • Dan Barcy says:

    Thank you for asking the excellent question on how we use social networking Faye! I currently use facebook but will be following your lead and creating a blog in the near future.
    On a personal basis, having recently moved back to my hometown of Strongsville, Ohio, facebook has allowed me to reconnect with so many of my old school friends. Additionally, through facebook I have had the wonderful opportunity to connect with an equal number of new friends.
    The new friends were a result of the ability for “friends of friends”, should privacy settings be set as such, to view mutual friends’ discussions with me. I also created facebook “groups” for the neighborhood I grew up in, our high school class, my business, and a local attraction that has since closed.
    I have always been intrigued with the phenomenon “Six Degrees of Separation” and social networking is the epitome of this.
    Being a visual person I have viewed social networking, particularly facebook as that is what I am most familiar with, as a spider web.
    Almost daily, I post a quote applicable to my or my friends’ day’s experiences. Once posted, the quote is then posted on each of my friends “walls”. Should my friends “like” or comment, a notice is posted on each of their friends wall. As in today’s case, a friend of one of my mutual friends then posted a comment which now expanded the horizon of this simple quote to hundreds more.
    I did follow one of these phenomenon’s and by day’s end (because of the format of facebook’s wall a post has an average lifespan of approximately 12 hours before it is buried at the bottom of posts) a simple post on my wall reached over 3,000 members.
    I am running a bit long here, as usual, so will try and wrap up in a brief manner.
    I am currently working with a young driver in a NASCAR series and have used social networking in a very similar manner in promoting his name and efforts with much success.
    An interesting exercise for facebook users is to go to the listing of those members in your high school graduating class and view how many, although they may not be on your “friends” list, have at least one mutual “friend”. Then view the classes a few years prior and after and you may be amazed at the result.
    “Six degrees of Separation” is truly defined through this exercise!
    Again, I want to thank you Faye!

  • miss_sixty says:

    it was very interesting to read fayeoney.com
    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

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