I think an important part of any social media marketing strategy should involve taking things offline and meeting people face-to-face. That’s true not only for personal networking but for business too, because both social media and business are first and foremost about people.That’s one of the reasons my favorite Twitter list is the people I’ve met in person.
One of the ways I take things offline in my business is by speaking to different business groups about social media. Turns out I’m pretty good at running my mouth.
And I always seem to make a new connection or two when I do.
Last week I spoke at the Savannah Downtown Business Association. I co-presented with April Groves. April’s a connection that went the other direction. I met her before she had much of an online presence. Since then she’s very successfully implemented social media marketing in her real estate business.
It’s About Networking
During the networking time I had a conversation with Cathy Rogers. I met Cathy on Twitter a while back. In fact I remember being embarrassed the first time I met her in person because my little pea brain didn’t connect the face-to-face conversation we were having to those earlier Twitter conversations.
In our conversation last week Cathy asked me how I knew Cheryl Smith.
It turns out I first met Cheryl on Twitter too. When I first followed her I saw that she lives in the same town as my parents. I mentioned it to her in a Twitter reply. A conversation ensued that quickly moved through Twitter DM’s to email.
When Gorgeous & I went home to see my folks this past Christmas time we spent an evening with Cheryl and her husband. I also connected Cheryl with HighCallingBlogs. Or more accurately, I recruited her to take some of my responsibilities there as my role with them shifted.
And now I find out two people that I’m connected with online are also know one another. The web’s a small world.
How does all this affect your business?
Well, most likely the people you actually meet face to face will end up being stronger connections than even your strongest online connections. There’s value in moving connections offline.
I can point to several profitable business connections that started on social media. But it wasn’t until they moved off line, either to the phone or in person, that the most profitable connections actually got to the money making point.
Social media is a great way to meet people. But don’t loose site of face to face interactions.
And as a note, this post was inspired by HighCallingBlogs’ new We are Real feature. I hope they’ll make that into an ongoing series!