What exactly is that? Interested?
I like social media, and I like Capital (big C) so how does it get created?
Wikipedia says that social capital is “the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.”
So how does that translate in a Digital-First economy?
The base definition is essentially the fabric of a modern functioning society, but if we apply it to relationship management and networking, I think Social Capital is:
*The value you create by having a deep and broad network of people who know and trust you*
Why is that valuable?
The bigger your network of people you can count on to solve problems, the more you become the connector for your friends, colleagues, and community. A true connector is at the center of everything.
- Connectors deliver projects on time and on budget because they make sure the right people are at the table.
- Connectors deliver higher value to their clients because they have extensive networks of solution providers.
- Connectors become the “trusted advisors” that people count on for insight and creative ideas.
At the end of the day, if you become a true “connector,” the value of your network is huge and therefore, you have inherent “social capital.”
So how is that created?
First, you must be a giver! Some of you just said “oh crap” in your heads. Being a giver and wanting to help others, without thinking of yourself first, is the key.
Then, and only then, do these activities generate social capital.
- Linkage – send an idea to a friend, colleague, or prospect. They might have mentioned they are looking for a new car, or a mechanic, or a developer. Give freely.
- Introductions – always be connecting people in your network to others and then step away. People will see this as a connection with no strings attached.
- Advise – give away what you know for free. Yep, my consulting friends, it’s hard but trust me on this one. They won’t be able to implement it without you!
- Comment – you need to share your knowledge through commenting on blogs, articles or posts. It takes time but establishes you as a subject matter expert.
- Give – always be looking for an opportunity to make a gift to someone. Gifts come in many forms. It could be a relationship or an introduction, or it could be an idea. Ideas are not underrated.
The key to developing social capital is being a servant leader and then executing consistently these five activities.
What are your thoughts on developing social capital?