It’s practically a cliche these days – leverage your social media skills and connections right, and you can land the job, seal the deal or catch the eye of somebody important. To some extent, it’s even true – a truly top-notch blog can turn into a book deal, and Twitter accounts just landed two junior State Department officials a full-length New York Times feature.
But when dealing with social media and your career or entrepreneurial efforts, it’s important to stay focused. Too many accounts can grow confusing and diffuse your message.
One good recommendation is to stick to the Big Three of social media – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Unless another social network reaches a very specific audience, those three are where the most important contacts will be.
In addition, you can link these accounts, so that your tweets appear on multiple platforms. But be careful – you don’t want midnight messages about bacchanalian partying winding up on your boss’ news feed.
Cultivate your contacts, and make sure to check in with them regularly. Make networking calls – digital or analog – at least once a week.
And make sure to pass on favors – you might hear of an opportunity that you can’t use, but sending it on to friends will build connections of goodwill that can only be more helpful later.