Your business’s social capital is fundamental to its success, especially with the emergence of social media. Social capital is the network of connections you maintain. With social media it has become easier to expand your capital and bridge great distances. Now, making connections across the country can be done at the click of a mouse. Knowing how to make your social capital work for you can be a game changer.

Social capital is a reflection of your brand’s credibility, reliability and reputation. Maintaining strong ties can help yield referrals and new business opportunities, and the use of social media can amplify this effect. How you manage your connections plays an important role in how others view your business.

Social media allows for observed linkages. Simply put, you can view the friends, followers and connections of all the people or businesses you’re connected with. This affordance alone can drive potential clients to your business. You can further this effect by posting work or asking past clients to mention or endorse your business. However, it’s important to know who helps and who hurts your social media presence.

There are positive and negative connections to be had on social media:

Positive. These connections include past and present clients or business partnerships. They can help grow your social capital by offering positive input (endorsements, likes, retweets) to your company’s social media presence.

Negative. These connections are often random friends or followers with no ties to your or your business. They may affect your credibility or undermine your work by posting spam or other inappropriate content.

Maintaining a good image includes knowing your connections. Groom your positive connections. Remove your negative connections.