When Keith Ferrazzi was writing the first edition of "Never Eat Alone," a book about professional networking, social media sites like Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) didn't even exist. So, when the book was reissued earlier this year, he added a healthy chunk of advice about how social media can be used to make the kinds of meaningful connections that can improve careers.
Ferrazzi continues to believe the keys to successful networking -- online and off -- are to approach new relationships with authenticity and generosity. Ferrazzi, who founded consulting and research firm Ferrazzi Greenlight after leading marketing at several large firms, shared additional advice about networking in the digital age during a recent visit to CBS MoneyWatch.
CBS MoneyWatch: What distinguishes "good" use of social media from "bad"?
Keith Ferrazzi: Good social media is sharing quality content and joining conversations. Bad use is marketing, bragging and forced manipulation. You will also want to leverage each platform with their strengths, Facebook has tremendous reach, but Twitter is instantaneous. LinkedIn (LNKD) is a business interested community. Make sure the content you create is good for the specific audience available.
Your audience will determine if the content you put out is good or bad, and you can tell by their engagement. If the content is good, you will see engagement. If it is bad, they won't engage. You serve them, not the other way around.
MW: Can you give hypothetical examples of the types of friend/connection requests you'd accept on social networks, and the types you'd ignore?
KF: I connect with anyone I am interested in learning more about. I'm happy to connect with people I have done business with, seen speak and didn't have the opportunity to get to know better in person. So long as your outreach is clear, direct and not misleading, you are connecting properly.
Be honest and sincere, but do not look for just personal growth or gain. Rather, lead with what interests them, not just yourself.
Remember, you are hopefully growing a friendship not a business contact, because a friend will be infinitely more valuable than a business contact.