Recently, a staff member of me, aggressively pursuing her MBA thesis, asked me to reflect on some of the books that she wanted to integrate into her thesis. I joked and said that is was an advantage to have me in her social capital. And just some hours later I did find this really nice post from Catherine. Great post to connect to and reflect to.
Social capital is to social media what a Google page ranking is to search engine optimization. The difference is that a high Google page ranking means that – if people are looking for a company that does what you do – your company can be found. It infers a level of popularity and increases the chance that people will check your company out. This is fine, and if your company website makes a good first impression, you then increase the likelihood of someone making direct contact with you.
However, we know that personal referrals and networking are how most business is done. This is where social media excels. In the social media, your company (and its employees) can build those connections that can ultimately turn into business relationships or referral sources.
This is where the concept of “social capital” comes in. It is not a new concept – sociologists were using this term long before social media came into being. It refers to the value of social networks and their ability to create bonds and support reciprocity among people.