is a powerful concept that is important to understand when you are setting goals for social networking programs. In my last two blog posts, I talked about what social capital is and how you can measure social capital.
Amplifying an individual, business, or any resource within your network results in the increase and spread of knowledge, ideas, and connections, and thereby increases the quality and quantity of the connections in your social graph.
Amplification is a direct result of relationship brokering. This can be accomplished in a number of ways:
Connecting people and resources to one another
When you connect two individuals with similar or complementary needs and goals, you immediately amplify your network. Closing this gap between these two individuals increases the connectivity and value of your network. The more influential the people are, the greater the value you – and they – derive from being connected.
Sharing resources is another way to spread value on a qualitative and quantitative level. You could share ideas, business knowledge, storefront space, project advice, and many other assets. Through sharing we add reciprocity of trust and value, which is very important to amplifying your network’s influence.
Inviting people with varied and opposing points of view into conversations
In your network, it’s important to create a diverse array of groups, ideals, goals, and backgrounds. Connecting with people who are different from yourself and from each other promotes the exchange of ideas, adds energy, and sparks more interesting discussions. It also gives you a stronger and more useful network.
The fascinating part of measuring your social capital and mapping your networks is that you can see which individuals, which businesses, and which resources have the positions of power in your social graph. Being in the core group brings one type of value; being on the periphery of the network delivers a different degree of influence. To amplify your network and your network’s influence, you want to target individuals who are both important and influential.
The people, organizations, and resources within your networks work together to create a common understanding of the personal and professional opportunities that lay ahead. You can identify people with needs you can fill, people with new and innovative ideas, people with talent and expertise, people with resources and various forms of capital – and target those people for your relationship-building efforts. When you deliberately and strategically amplify your network, you will produce the kind of strong connections you need to maximize your social capital.
This series of guest blog posts about social capital is courtesy of Bennett Resnik, a consultant on social capital and networks, and the creator of “The Hands We Shake” lecture series on how to build, grow, and sustain social capital. He is an expert in networking strategy and social capital retention. Bennett has helped start-ups, small businesses, non-profits and individuals develop a comprehensive strategy to build and cultivate their social capital.