Like dropping a stone into a calm pond, building your social network starts ripples that will pay off in ways you cannot even imagine. When I talk about networking for business, I mention the analogy of planting seeds. The harvest doesn’t come instantly, but when it does, it usually turns out to be well worth the wait.
A ripple spreading out across a pond takes time to travel, too. It may collide with other ripples, started by other stones — yours or someone else’s. Our social media activities are small gestures, just 140 characters, or a short status on Facebook, maybe even a brief comment on a blog. This is far less work than traditional business networking activities. You can achieve more with less effort.
Your reach is longer, too. Today’s social media tools are global; space and time are no longer restrictions. In a flurry of activity you can write and schedule a number of blog posts or tweets to be sent at times you specify.
If you’re not seeing the opportunities for your business or career that you would like right now, get up to speed with social media and start pitching a few stones into the pond of your choice. There are multiple communities and conversations going on. You should be part of at least one.