Weak tie connections link to new business

My Facebook Network is an app that visualises how your Facebook friends are connected to one another.  Here’s mine:

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The graph is interesting in two ways.

The white lines in the graph indicate the people that are connected to most other people in my Facebook friends group. They’re my ex-colleagues from Microsoft so it’s natural that they will be connected to lots of other friends in my network.

But it’s the friends, marked in red that are the most interesting people in my graph.  These people are my weak ties.  And weak ties matter.

Your weak ties are your link to new networks and new opportunities

My weak ties are connected to me, but, more importantly they are connected to other networks that could become important to me. They are my connection to my local networks, my diving buddies, my friends from my work with women in technology and my techy geeks

My book reinforces the need to maintain relationships with your influencers and how weak ties can help you do this.  Maintaining connections, no matter how strong can link you to other networks to benefit you and your business.  If you use Facebook for your business connections then its good to understand your social graph, but LinkedIn also has the ability to map your business social graph with its InMaps feature.

Knowing your social graph is just the start of discovering how best you can use your new networks.  Managing your relationships with these key connections to your influencers in these external networks takes an investment of time and effort.  Your online influence has a huge effect on engagement and relationships

Making them reap appropriate rewards is entirely down to you…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.