Especially among new bloggers just starting out online, deciding just how much time to invest in networking on social media is tough. There’s no one true way to build up a great network for yourself; heck, there isn’t even a clear picture of what great connections might look at. Some people point to in-depth conversations as a sign of a valuable connection, while others point to high follower counts instead.
Most of the time, though, you have a particular goal in mind when you start networking. Whether you’re trying to find a new job or you’re trying to promote a product, it’s rare that you’re expanding beyond your current network without any reason at all in mind. Even simple curiosity guides your networking choices.
Your goals will probably be more attainable if you can get your new connections to take action on whatever you’re posting. The dominant action you can expect is sharing, often even more than you can expect someone to click through and read a link you’ve shared.
To build the most effective network possible, plan with that reality in mind: the best network you can build is one that will share your posts. Someone with a high follower count is not nearly as valuable as someone who you can count on to retweet your latest Twitter update, even if they have fewer followers. As you’re seeking out connections, don’t forget to look at new contacts’ sharing histories.
As a last note, it’s worth thinking about your own policy towards sharing, because that will impact who will follow you back.