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The Two Laws of Social Media

In preparation for a presentation I did yesterday about why and how people should use LinkedIn more, I thought about the governing laws that drive the why and how of my participation in social media. Here's what I came up with:

1. Social Media is just one medium to establish and build REAL relationships.
Many of the people to whom I am connected and with whom I communicate through social media are people I have met face-to-face. In many instances, they are people I associate with often in real life. The concept of buying followers that I don't even know feels uncomfortable, like paying people to be my friends. I would never do that. Everything I do on social media is to build relationships, mostly by trying to help and add value to those I'm connected to. After all, that's what friends and real business connections do, right?

2. You are the CEO of You, Inc.
I am surprised at how many people shy-away from having a an online presence. Some are humble, others afraid of the unknown. Whatever the reason, it does not discount this one point - you, and only you, are the most qualified expert on the subject of you. If you don't represent, then you're leaving a wide open space for others to do it for you. Or, even worse, little or no online presence could render you irrelevant altogether.

Every strategy or tactic as it relates to social media needs to adhere to these two rules. If they do, then you're on the right track!


Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

Great post, Ken! Thanks!!

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Cindy, I concur.

Ellie Ahmadi
Title: Sr. Global Online Product Marketing
Company: Protiviti
(Sr. Global Online Product Marketing, Protiviti) |

I agree with point #2 but in regards to point #1, I think different channels in social media require different approach and comfort level. On Facebook, for example, I make sure that my friends are people that I actually know because it is personal information that I share there. But I use LinkedIn for professional networking opportunities and people I may "want" to meet or reach out to for professional reasons. In that case I am more comfortable adding strangers.

Topic Expert
Ken Kaufman
Title: CFO
Company: Community Dental Partners
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Community Dental Partners) |

Ellie, I think the most important part of what you have said is that you view the type of relationships you want to create and build differently based on the social media platform you are using. Having a clear plan and strategy is critical to success!

If I were to slightly rephrase your comment, I think you are saying that you only want to use Facebook to build on already existing, trust-based relationships that you are connected to a little more personally and deeply than many of your business connections. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a place where you are also open to creating new professional relationships. Kudos to you for having a strategy and following it!