Having been networking on-line for quite a long time – eight years – I have quite a significant contact network out there. It is not the biggest network because I do not add people just to bolster my scores. I still have an issue with Dunbar’s number which is the village in my head, so I cannot “know” everyone.
I interact with quite a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook and some other on-line platforms, and also talk to bloggers through comments on their blogs and sometimes on mine. That means I think that somewhere down the end of the hall there is a revolving door where some people come into my mental village and some leave, whether they or I are aware of it or not.
The Virtual High Street and Main Drag
I am not against having a large number of contacts on Twitter or LinkedIn. Being out there with one’s “open for business” A-board on the virtual pavement outside the virtual shop means someone might see it, drop in and buy. You just never know. It’s not networking in the conventional sense though, because we have no idea who is passing by even if we have a connection which means they do pass by our shop.
The problem for people just concentrating on having a large number of contacts is that it is very hard to make sure that the right people are passing. Some sign up to follow through automated Twitter search platforms and they may be lucky in getting business for all I know, but it seems pretty aimless for the most part. Still, each to their own.
What worries me is that lots of people concentrate on actively pursuing the numbers in a completely unfocussed way thus wasting their time. It can be an addiction akin to gaming or even gambling, thinking that the next batch of contacts will really pay off. The biggest danger in business is wasting time on things that don’t work.
Have you gone for big numbers? Has it worked? If so, well done and please share your experience. If it hasn’t worked, shouldn’t you be trying a more channeled and organized approach to your on-line strategy and your marketing in general?