Thursday, June 24, 2010

Connecting with Strangers on Social Media Sites

I love using social media sites to meet new professionals for networking and sharing ideas. LinkedIn and Twitter are my favorite social media sites for this, as they bring you into contact with a ton of people in all different fields and specialties.

Over the past few months, I've been trying to add new professional contacts and I've reached out to people I didn't previously know. At first, this was a little awkward, as I had to overcome my own hesitation about connecting with strangers. I was worried I was being too intrusive or even spamming people. I tried to balance this by being transparent about my intent to connect and never bothering anyone with duplicate messages or invitations.

Overall, this process has been rewarding and very positive, as the majority of people with whom I've interacted have been very receptive to networking and connecting on LinkedIn or Twitter, and I now am connected to many more interesting professional contacts that I would be otherwise through simple, organic network growth.

I'm interested in other perspectives about this. Do others also connect with strangers, or only with known friends and colleagues? Why?

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