Larry Brauner

On April 4 in Building a List with Online Social Networking I discussed the role of online social networking in permission-based marketing.

When you add a friend at one of the social networking sites, you are adding that person to your list, and at the same time you’re adding yourself to his or her list. It’s reciprocal list building.

You’ll readily agree that a tiny list is not likely to get you far. Right?

You must build a large list. But how large? And do you focus on quantity or quality?

Whether you have 100 or 500 or 5,000 people on your friends list, you aren’t going to be able to have a regular intimate dialog with all of them. So why opt for smaller rather than larger?

Ron BatesIn Stan Relihan’s interview with Ron Bates, the most connected networker on LinkedIn with around 40,000 direct connections, Ron answers the question quite succinctly. He says that “there is quality in quantity”.

In other words, the larger your list, the more people there will be who are just the ones you’re looking to meet. Some relationships will remain superficial while others will become strong friendships.

Ron also discusses the importance in business today of what he refers to as an “additive online presence”. Before somebody does business with you they’re likely to Google you to see what comes up. That’s your online presence. Each place you network, post an article or bookmark a site adds to that presence. This you may recall is a subject we touched on last month in Social Networking Sites: Your Web Presence and is frequently discussed at My Private Classroom for Marketers.

I encourage you to listen to Stan’s interview with Ron Bates and Stan’s other online social networking podcasts. You’ll find loads of gems.

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5 Responses to “Online Social Networking: Quantity vs. Quality”

  1. Remi on April 21st, 2008 9:38 am

    Interesting post. I remember once Ron Bates telling me that LinkedIn is like a pyramid, and therefore being at the top of it is the best place to be.

    It might be true, but not so true in my own case. Like most of us, I have a presence on LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and the likes. In addition, invitations to join other networks keep pouring into my inbox.

    So far, I have got very little from LinkdeIn (even less from Plaxo!), at least directly. I use Linkedin to check someone’s profile (it is like googling the name), and to get answers to my questions (my favorite); not much really. I would be really interested in hearing from others about their linkedin experience.

  2. Larry Brauner on April 22nd, 2008 9:31 am

    I received a dozen contacts from headhunters over the past year and a half through LinkedIn.

    LinkedIn is part of my “marketing mix”.

  3. Shanti on April 23rd, 2008 5:49 am

    I don’t have profiles on either site. I need to get cracking, great post BTW

  4. Ian Jones on July 5th, 2011 1:02 pm

    Remi, you say that ‘so far I have got very little from LinkedIn’. In my opinion it’s definitely a site from which you can gain as much or as little as you put in. Admittedly it does take a fair amount of time and effort to use the site to its full potential and build up a base of lucrative connections, but once this is achieved, and ensuring the frequent maintenance of your profile you should start to reap the rewards of your efforts. I can’t say that I’d recommend building a contact list as vast as Ron Bates’; his assertion of ‘quality in quantity’ seems somewhat dubious, and I would be keen to see the supposed successes of his strategy.

  5. Abbas on September 24th, 2011 2:40 pm

    It’s difficult to strike a balance between the right quantity and the right quantity. I, personally, feel quality is the more essential factor but too much or too less of either quantity or quality would render the online social networking futile.

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