Social media has become a powerful tool for building and maintaining relationships. But is this social media relationship building real? When you connect with someone on Facebook or LinkedIn, will that spark professional real relationships online? Probably not.
At the same time, social media has endless possibilities as it lifts geographical limitations. You can interact with people online whenever you want and wherever you want—and there’s no limitation on how long you can interact.
That said, we need a way to take advantage of social media to build real professional relationships, not just virtual friends.
We’ve all heard of the “six degrees of separation” theory—the idea that everyone is connected to everyone else through a chain of acquaintances. The more people who are connected, the smaller the distance between two people, and the more likely they are to know each other.
The important part, however, isn’t just in connecting people, it’s in the strength of those connections.
How to Build Stronger Connections With Social Capital
The idea here is that by helping others find what they need, we can build value for both sides. You can become a trusted advisor and go-to resource for others; they become loyal customers and advocates who trust you because you helped them solve their problems or answer their questions.
So, how do you build these relationships?
First, you need to figure out who you want to connect with and why. It is important to identify the person’s motivation for connecting with you—is it business-related or personal? Are they looking for tips on a certain topic? Are they trying to hire someone? Do they have a question about an upcoming event? Once you understand the context of the relationship, then you can tailor your responses accordingly.
Next, once you’ve figured out who you want to connect with online (and offline, if applicable), the next step is to develop trust over time by providing value whenever possible. The more people who interact with you on Intch, the stronger your social capital becomes. And that’s how real relationships are born.
For example, you might be someone’s go-to resource for finding technical talent, which is useful information for them. They trust you enough to let you know about potential hires—and then they share it with their friends. That’s value in itself. Eventually, you’ll have more real connections than not—and they’ll become your advocates and customers.
Building Social Currency
With Intch, we’re trying to build a community of social capital, where people can leverage their social currency to create value for themselves and others.
While the concept of social currency is nothing new, the way we use technology has changed drastically in the last decade. Social currency isn’t just about how many friends you have on Facebook or Twitter anymore: It’s about developing your personal brand and building win-win relationships.
Why AI Networking is the Future of Online Relationships
Traditional online networking relied on one-way communication, which often led to superficial conversations and few results. Today’s AI-powered tools help you find the people most relevant to your goals and interests. This means that it’s becoming much easier to remove the barriers that kept you from building real relationships in the past.
We’ve all been there: You log into Facebook or LinkedIn and feel overwhelmed by all of those connections—who do you know, how do you know them, what do they like? Instead of relying on superficial connections, we encourage everyone to build their network by helping others. It might not happen overnight, but with tools like Intch, your social capital is your new metric for success.
Why Helping Online Friends of Friends Matters
The best place to find potentially relevant connections is closer to home than you’d think. One of the most under-utilized tools in your social media arsenal is your network of second and third-degree connections.
For example, if you’re a startup entrepreneur, many of your friends are likely startup entrepreneurs as well. And if you’re looking for tech talent, there’s likely an abundance of your friends on social media who meet your criteria.
By helping people in your network, you help gain those important connections that you wouldn’t have otherwise. And the more connections someone has, the wider their network becomes—and the more likely they are to find what they need when they need it.
Building Real Relationships Online With AI at its Core
As we mentioned earlier, artificial intelligence has become a powerful tool for building real relationships online—and in real life. The tools that power today’s AI-powered apps are rapidly becoming standard features.
As our reliance on technology increases, so too does our ability to leverage it for good. At Intch, we’re focused on making sure that everyone has access to the most powerful toolset possible to build their personal brand and grow their social capital—regardless of where they live or what their background is.