Just got off (to readers it will be 24 hours later) of an interview with Bruce Peters of WCEOHQRadio. We talked about being an entrepreneur, about how I got started with Lip-sticking and Dickless Marketing and about social media. [OOPS! Update: Yvonne types too fast - that link should be WCEOHQ-Radio. My bad!]
I want to talk about social media for a bit, here. First of all, the phrase starts with the word "social" and I've said that before but too many people are ignoring that vital part of the whole social media movement.
First and foremost you have to be "social"... that means NOT locking tweets, it means having comments on your blog (even if they are moderated) and it means understanding that your online presence is just one part of who you are and what you do.
The real power of social comes in meeting people nose-to-nose, offline. It's joining friends in a tweet-up, even if you can only stay a few minutes. It's in learning how to shake hands - that limp, soft, pull-your-hand-away quickly handshake is not how to do it! And, it's in recognizing that the tweep, the blogger, the Facebook connection you're talking to or with is a real person.
A real person who might be entirely different than you imagine, over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. That person might open up more, or less...that person might reveal dreams not shared online, or turn out to be shorter, taller, less talkative, than they are online. That person might be stronger, more influencial and connected than they appear to be online. Or, that person might be fooling everyone - they might be a dog. Remember that good old saying ('old'?), "When you're online, no one knows you're a dog."
Businesses today need to embrace social media tools for the values they can bring to their organization. But, let's not forget the human equation - the need to return to our roots. Today, as much as ever, we need to recognize the power of getting face-to-face with clients, customers, and colleagues.
It's that tried and true face-to-face experience that is the cement that will hold your relationship together. It's being able to look someone in the eye, to hear the catch in their voice or the triumph in their exclamation, that brings humanness to the equation.
And, without the human-factor, without the touch, the sound, the experience, you have no relationship. You just have a connection.
Bruce asked where social media is going and I said, "To the dogs." No, not really. I said to a nose-to-nose connection, where our social media networks become our coffee klatches, or business meetings at the local coffee shop, and our parties on Friday at happy hour. Social media is an open door, in order to cement relationships, you need to walk through that door and shake hands with the people on the other side.
Meet me next week, at BlogPaws - nose-to-nose!