Posts Tagged 'social network'

Making the Value Proposition Viral … uh, Organic

Greg Berry just posted a useful list called “Five Rules for Social Networks.”  It contains useful ideas such as making sure that there’s a clear value proposition for users to connect with others and getting others to connect with them.

In some social networks, the “gift” is “we get to be more closely connected”.  This is appealing especially to millennials who like maximum, always-together connectivity with their friends.

For older folks and “serious” professionals, the gift is sometimes harder to convey.  You invite your friend.  Your friend signs up but doesn’t have a clue what to do, or more important, why to care.

LinkedIn, which serves the older group, has a very clear value proposition for professionals, but still the value proposition often doesn’t come across in the invitation or initial visit to the site.  To finally try to fix this LinkedIn has recently announced a new “Learning Center” where new, and old, users can go to understand better what exactly they can do, and why.  One of the best resources on the learning center are two new very short but very clear videos on how and why professionals can use LinkedIn.  It’s very easy to send these to people you know.

The overview video is in two parts, but you can see them both together in this LinkedIn blog post.   Or use these two YouTube links:

Part I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pXWrHN0elg

Part II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1ofuNt6Abk

BTW, I still like “viral” because it really means “contagious”.  If something good is contagious, that’s good.  Otherwise, bad.

Three Types of Professional Networks

Here is an excellent article and podcast by Hermania Ibarra, INSEAD Professor and thought-leader in the area of professional networks for managers.

I’m not a daily blogger or blog reader and post and read in spurts, so this article is actually from May. So some of you are likely to have already seen it. I picked it up from Valdis Kreb’s superb blog.

Here are what I felt are the main points of Hermania’s piece:

There are three types of professional networks:

Operational – the people you directly work with to get your job done. Most managers spend a lot of time developing these relationships and neglect the other two types of networks, which are:

Personal Networks – e.g., alumni, professional, social and affinity groups — these allow you to meet a diverse group of like-minded professionals. Good for career moves, and to link you to new kinds of networks for your current work when opportunities emerge there.

Strategic networks -contacts with peers and senior people in your field — toughest but most essential for leaders. Look beyond your industry. Strategic networks are crucial for sharing ideas about best practices, learning new approaches, keeping tabs on developments in business and technology. Helps leaders see the bigger picture.

Managers often fail at networking because many people haven’t developed good network-building practices and skills and feel initially that they’re wasting time. Also many feel that “networking” = using other people, or making superficial relationships.  Not so.  Good networking is reciprocal.


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