What do I mean by social capital? Think of it as soft rewards that accrue from being tightly interconnected in mutually beneficial relationships. People who understand social capital act like pollinators. Their social relationships produce benefits like these:
- -insights from loose connections they wouldn’t normally encounter.
- -they identify and vet potential collaborative relationships.
- -they partner with subject matter experts who add value for their stakeholders.
Should you invest in a social capital strategy to build your business? Well, that depends on where you are in your business cycle.
- Do you need a greater volume of transactions? (that’s a sales and marketing plan)
- Is it time to scale? (you need a systems plan)
- Are you hoping to be more relevant in a changing market? (social capital is terrific here)
Examples of Social Capital Tactics?
- ‘Bee’ a connector. Where could that be an advantage for you? It can help you to deepen relationships in teleworking environments, or relational sales. You can seek out subject matter experts who become collaborators.
- Curate generative conversations that result in new insights. Specifically, those that add value to partner and customer relationships.
- Invest time in social business networking activities. Use group activities to meet then set up one-on-one meetings later when you can spend more time understanding what matters to your new connection.
Design your social capital strategy with these points in mind:
- How will you facilitate value for your stakeholders beyond what they can do on their own?
- How will you leverage your unique resources so you create this distinct experience?
- Select appropriate social tools. Ask what your stakeholders prefer.
- Don’t spread your footprint too thin. Start by choosing one of the 3 tactics above and do that first.