Jenny Sussin

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Jenny Sussin
Principal Research Analyst
2 years with Gartner
4 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a princial research analyst in the ITL Enterprise Software group of Gartner Research, with primary focus on social for CRM. Read Full Bio

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You’re Not Alone: The Rule of Three Helps Build Out Your Social Network

by Jenny Sussin  |  January 28, 2014  |  8 Comments

There are so many things about social media engagement that are deemed to simple to write about anymore. Well ladies and gentlemen, let’s get tacky!

Tacky, or weird?


I know people are struggling with developing their individual social networks and their organization’s social networks and so in my first blog post of 2014, let’s talk about one of those things that everyone is afraid to ask about: how to organically build out your social network. What do I mean by organic? I mean not buying followers, not following people in hopes that they’ll follow you back in a move of courtesy.



I mean gaining followers by genuinely being intriguing in the sense that Carnegie wanted to help us win friends and influence people.


You might say, “hey lady, you only have 1,800 followers.” And I might say, “I’m cool with that,” because for me, it’s okay to only have 1,800 followers. If 1,800 people are interested in what I have to say, that is enough pressure for an individual person. I’m not trying to sell anything via social media. I’m trying to meet and bond with cool people and for such an objective, a pot of 1,800 people ensures I am always amused.


But if your objective is a business objective – how do you even get to 1,800? Here is my rule of 3 for individuals and organizations looking to build out their social networks: for everyone one original post you create, you must retweet/share something someone else said, and comment on something someone else said. And here is why:

  • Create an original post because you want to show you have a mind – and that mind can come up with something unique. Maybe something unique is something about your business, maybe it is something you’re thinking of, the bottom line is this is your post to do what you want with.

  • Retweet or share to show you’re the kind of person who is willing to proliferate someone else’s message, if you think that message is a good one. This is the whole “you scratch my back, I scratch yours,” concept. We’re all a littler narcissistic folks. Pet an ego.

  • Comment on someone else’s post to engage with them. Building a real, meaningful network means you need to have a reciprocal feeling of relationship. So talk to the person! Start up a dialogue. Ask a question, make an observation. Encourage people to communicate with you, not at you. Set expectations that when someone enters into a relationship with you, you engage.


It’s quick, it’s easy, and now you don’t need to be embarrassed about asking. The truth is, we talk to clients about this a couple of times a week.

You don’t need to comment here if you don’t want to admit you looked at this – afterall, we are being tacky. But do, do me a favor: come find me at an upcoming event I’ll be at and let me know if you found this valuable. I promise not to rat you out :) Here is where I’ll be:

Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit, March 31 – April 2 in Las Vegas

Customer Strategies and Technologies Summit, April 28 – 29 in London

Portals, Content &  Collaboration Summit, May 5-7 in Los Angeles

Customer 360 Summit, May 19 – 21 in Orlando





Category: marketing orientation social crm social media     Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 You're Not Alone: The Rule of Three Helps Build Out Your Social Network | All that Cuteness   January 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    […] By Jenny Sussin […]

  • 2 Neil Cummings   January 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Hey Jenny, a good read and some simple advice. As you can see I’m putting it to work too!

    Nothing like a bit of practise to get the momentum going. Thanks for the tips and enjoy your events.

  • 3 Jenny Sussin   January 29, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks Neil! Happy for the feedback and best of luck!

  • 4 Tristan Bishop   February 4, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I LOVE this post, Jenny. I love the advice. I love the video comedy. I’m inspired.

  • 5 Veronica   February 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Very helpful! Thanks for the inquiry session today with Kata, my social media guru!

  • 6 Jenny Sussin   February 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Happy this was helpful!

  • 7 Jenny Sussin   February 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks Tristan. I’m a big GIF fan. Early Buzzfeeder.

  • 8 Patrick Stakenas   March 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Good stuff.! Screams of Integrity! What a concept!