July 15, 2012

Appreciation Marketing – Social Media Is Not Social

Social Media is not social; social media is virtual in its basis for building relationships.  Before all of you Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other similar followers jump all over me, let me explain.  These sites provide a means for people to connect for various reasons.  These reasons vary from personal, business, and other reasons all the way to criminal.  My rational is that they are a means of connecting virtually.  Virtually is not the same as face-to-face, and face-to-face is social.

I have met people of varying businesses who never leave their offices/homes.  They claim that they have everything that they need, computers, telephone, fax, internet, etc.  They never meet another person face-to-face except by video.  I believe that this is not the way we should do business.  The people who conduct their lives this way are missing the personal interaction that is available in more direct meetings, the interaction that physical meetings provide, and the opportunities to learn, teach, and experience others and their ideas.

At a networking event last week, I proclaimed that social media was not social, and I was prepared for a deluge of nays from the audience.  I was pleasantly surprised when many others echoed my feelings.  These are the people with whom I want to do business and pass referrals, and whom I believe are interested in the mutual success of us all.  They believe if you meet someone virtually, or follow up with someone who you have met at an actual meeting, you should then meet that person face-to-face and get to know them better.

These people believe that this type of meeting is the way to build business relationships.  Building relationships over the internet might work some times, but the majority of the solid, productive relationships will be built from actual, physical meetings where you exchange ideas, feelings, expressions, gestures, and speech inflections that provide true knowledge about the participants in the meeting.  These exchanges allow people to build long term, meaningful, productive relationships because they actually “know” each other.

This type of relationship will last through good and bad times, it will provide business through either actual sales or referrals, and it will give each party someone to rely on for the intangibles such as advice, guidance, and comfort when you need it.  Want a short term relationship, just interested in a quick sale, or do you want to milk someone for a referral or two?  Then this type of relationship is not for you.  Go back to Twitter or Facebook and take your chances there.  I’ll take the business partner who is into relationships for the long haul.

Does this type of relationship take time to build?  You bet it does.  Does it take work?  I have always said that networking is work; perhaps it is the hardest work that you can do.  Building your relationships is part of building your business future and your success in business.  You must be your best that you can be in building relationships, but shouldn’t you be your best every day in operating your business?  Would you want anything other than the best effort that your partners have?

What kind of relationships are you building?  Are they for the long haul or for the quick sale?  How do you use social media?  Do you use it just for the virtual aspects, or do you use it as your only marketing tool?  Please leave your comments here on this blog or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.  If you disagree, I would prefer to chat about your view point in a face-to-face meeting where we can get acquainted and get to know each other in detail.  That way we can watch, and hear, what we say and how we say it.

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