There is one conversation I have over and over again, with my friends and colleagues - Social Media and it's benefits. I am a social media addict + + and quite a lot of my friends have signed up on every social network possible. They know more about new and upcoming products in the space than I do, who funded which company, when they were launched and so on and so forth. But they really spend no time contributing to these social products, and question the time I spend on them
I keep trying to stress on the point that being an addict, constantly posting things out and participating is NOT a bad thing. (of course i don't mean you need to tell us every time you are in the toilet)
Let's move to your offline world for a bit - lets say you choose to be a total recluse, not go out when friends call, don't keep in touch with them, never initiate anything social. Then out of the blue after not being involved an inch in their lives, you decide you need these friends to help promote your company. I think we all know you'll probably end up with zero help from said friends.
Move back now to the online world. Just because you have someone in your "friends" list on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook - does NOT mean you are networked.
Simple eg: I love baking and I enjoy it more when my friends encourage me to do it. Their responses to my posts or pictures are constant encouragement. In return I need to also ensure I do the same for my friends in whatever sphere their interest lies. Sounds transactional? YES! But when has the world not been like that - and that's where Social Circles online or offline actually help make it less transactional, because you also end up building a relationship in the process.
I know tomorrow, if I need help promoting my newly founded business, or an event I am managing for work - this very network will be there to help me spread the word.
THE SOLUTION: Build online relationships with your network, show interest in their lives, share, comment, like, tweet, post interesting content. Even more important is to RESPOND when your network shows interest in your life - if they comment on your content, or tweet something, always, always respond & acknowledge what they have said.
Ultimately like any relationship even the social world is based on giving and receiving. They say there is no marketing better than word of mouth and that word of mouth starts with your inner most circle. Today that's your online social circle.
So take those two hours off to be involved in the life of those in your "friends lists", remind yourself how you function in an offline world and I guarantee the pay off's will be worth it.