I wrote a review about the new book Doing Social Media So It Matters : A Librarian’s Guide.
The author brings up the concept of social capital. According to the Encyclopedia of Governance social capital includes “social networks and norms of reciprocity and trust, that facilitate cooperation and the accomplishment of goals.”
This is the idea that when you respond to other’s via social networks like Linked In, Twitter and Facebook, you are building relationships with these individuals. As you respond to others, they become invested in what you have to say. These social networks are not a broadcasting tool, but rather a way to converse digitally. Making these connections is crucial for libraries to be relevant today. If you think about it, libraries provide the information that help students, the public, policy makers, teachers, lawyers or anybody to accomplish a specific goal. We can connect individuals to other experts in the community, too.
To be effective with your social networks, you must build social capital with your users.
I highly recommend reading this book, and you can read my review here: http://www.idaholibraries.org/idlibrarian/index.php/idaho-librarian/article/view/78/191
“Social Capital.” Encyclopedia of Governance. Vol. 2. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference, 2007. 873-874. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 May. 2011.