Seth wrote the bible of customer network building which, funnily enough, he called Tribes. Seth has the ability to see things differently and clear away the fog; to put complex ideas into simple words. And this is what he has done with the theory of ‘Tribes’.
But he seems to have missed one major implication of social networking technology. He has built his own customer networks in ‘isolated’ technology like Ning. And while such technology delivers the tribe owner complete control, there are significant reasons why social networking platforms are better. With LinkedIn for professional customer networks and Facebook for more social or consumer-oriented networks, there are various benefits to social networking:
1. It enables tighter and better sideways communication with members.
2. The technology for connecting is better – the investments made by LinkedIn and Facebook are huge.
3. We have multiple reasons to be on LinkedIn, but we only have one reason to visit Seth’s network- this underpins the whole theory of social networking. It’s also because our lives are incredibly complex and we are all trying to discover ways to simplify them. Going to multiple web sites on a regular basis is simply beyond the head space for most of us (and certainly this little vegemite!). Most people will avoid it where possible, or rule it out completely. But we will visit the big sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook because we have multiple reasons to do so. We do things other than visit our ‘tribes’ when we are there. For example, we research, connect with or chat to friends, we prepare for a sales visit, etc.
4. LinkedIn and Facebook can almost function as blogs now – and they will increasingly be used as such (both as microblogs and major blogs). When we no longer need to have separate technologies for blogging and connecting, the ‘tribes’ will simply communicate and ‘blog’ with one another, inside LinkedIn.
5. If the social networking sites start to play ‘silly buggers’, the founder of the customer network will move it to another platform. Such migrations have become easy.
LinkedIn and Facebook, despite well founded fears about their growing power, are the future and the foundations of professional customer networks.
Find out more about Social Media with Lead Generation here.