I have heard a lot of questions lately asking people to make choices.

  • Engage or Broadcast?
  • Authentic or Optimistic?
  • Google+ or Twitter or Facebook or…

I see these questions and I think to myself why are we framing all of these questions with “Or” rather than “And”?

Okay, I realize that the essence of the word “or” reflects decisiveness. Whether it is an issue of time, bandwidth, commitment, or other, sometimes we have to make decisions.

BUT…What about the decision to embrace more? When it comes to Social success, and in actuality success of any kind is it possible that the answer lies in “And” and not “Or”? I would like to suggest it does.

While nothing is emphatic and there are certainly times where “Or” needs to be the choice, let me provide some examples where “And” may just be the best decision:

  • To maximize your networking, you should have a presence on all social mediums. The decision to avoid any one of them will have an affect that limits your Social Capital. If you make a choice to not participate on one you are making the “Or” decision and while that is not wrong, it is emphatic that it will limit your reach.

  • To build the most meaningful relationships possible you should curate great content AND engage with your audience AND share your ideas AND participate often. Time may limit your ability to do all of these things well. However, the decision to do some and not all (Or vs. And) will play a part in how deeply you connect and what type of relationships you build.

  • To care about Klout and other Social Measurements or not to care? The reality is you should do the very best you can to maximize your brand online. It is okay to desire to build your metrics, however it is also okay to just do your very best. It can be done by focusing on both realizing scores aren’t the end all be all, but they do have relevance.

  • To be as influential as possible, you should be authentic AND challenge ideas to gain the most from those you engage with. It is okay to have a positive outlook, but if you don’t challenge what you don’t know or don’t agree with (constructively) you are limiting your growth and knowledge by accepting what doesn’t make sense.

When it comes to Social Media strategy it is unlikely that I will change my view that your strategy should reflect your goals. However, when it comes to success in social, every “or” decision you make has an effect on your results. If you know what that effect is and your are okay with it then great, proceed as planned. Just know, that the nature of “Or” is limiting and exclusive where the nature of “And” is synergistic, inclusive, and expansive. That in itself says a lot about how you should proceed.

Could “AND” be a key to your next great decision? You tell me…