Putting the "SOCIAL" into Social Media

There is a great deal of material on social media being produced on a daily basis. There are millions of people tweeting, linking, posting, “booking” each day. Some are personal connections, some are business oriented. Generally in the personal connections there has at sometime in the past been some “in-person” connection, albeit some may be in the distant past, as in connecting with a high school classmate from 30 some odd years ago. Even some of your business connections through LinkedIn may have had an in-person connection at some point. But we get caught up in the connection mania and start adding people like crazy and as a result we often forget the SOCIAL part of social media. I am a light-wight tweeter following just over 670 people and an even lighter-weight LinkedIn user with about 180 connections. But even with these numbers the social aspects can get lost.
I had a fellow tweeter ask me if I would be interested in a phone conversation, as she had noticed I was in the Atlanta, Georgia area as was she. I suggested rather than a phone call I would like to meet in person. So we fit it into our schedules and I had the good fortune to meet Beth A. Miller of Executive Velocity (ExecVelocity on Twitter). Not only was it a very pleasant hour, but it now has the potential for being a relationship that may help both of us in our businesses.
Given that encounter I wanted to encourage people to take their social media relationships and put the in-person social contact in there as well. Here are some tips for doing this.
  1. Many people are skittish about meeting in person. Learn from the professional networkers. Harvey Mackay is the “old dog” of networking (no offense to Harvey, he is actually a personal role model for me). He has written numerous books including Swim With the Sharks Withour Being Eaten Alive . He gives excellent advice on establishing, maintaining and effectively using your network. The new generation of super networker is Keith Ferrazzi. He is incredible. He has written two book, Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back.
  2. A second good way to meet face-to-face is to go to a Tweet-Up or a Blogger event. Meet those people you have been exchanging information with or have been following or will want to follow. Generally these are held in a pleasant social environment (I go to one held at Pizzaria Venti) and people get relaxed and put a person to the tweet.
  3. Meet other people at conferences. I have not had the luck to go to one yet, but I read that they are getting bigger and bigger. Recent ones have been held in NYC and Louisville. But you can also go to other association meetings and get to know the bloggers, tweeters and “facers” in the group.
  4. Lastly, if there is someone you truly want to meet then send a message, make a call and suggest a meeting. Takes some guts (what if they don’t find you as interesting?) but it won’t happen if you don’t do it. Take the leap.
Well those are some of my suggestions. I hope readers who are better at this will suggest some other ways to put the SOCIAL into social media. Let’s hear from you.

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