All relationships begin with a conversation. These days conversations start not from meeting someone at a conference, but from connecting online through chirps and tweets. Social media has changed the way we communicate – it allows Joe Smith to direct message Barack Obama on Twitter. And whether or not Obama reads your tweet, it’s nice to know you can DM him.
But what happened to picking up the phone and knowing what a person’s voice sounds like? The other day, a company partner sent an email message IN ALL CAPS indicating that I hadn’t responded to him in years. When I reached him on the phone almost immediately, he asked, “didn’t you get my IM’s, DM’s and posts?” My response, “did you call me- I don’t have any urgent messages?” I know we all like to have streams of long email chains clogging up our inbox.
The point is that chirps and tweets, second lives, wikis and foursquaring are an important dance business owners need to have, but if email, DMs and the like aren’t working, just pick up the phone. Have REAL conversations. Sites like LinkedIn has made it possible for me to contact potential customers and partners that I wouldn’t normally have access to or take longer than I had patience to make contact with. But, you know what I do immediately after I connect with them? I don’t continue on messaging through LinkedIn. I pick up the phone. Ask where they are located and joke about the weather. These simple human touches link computer name to face, twitter ID to location – all elements that help launch real-time business storhttp://blog.score.org/wp-admin/post-new.phpming creative sessions and solutions to actually get somewhere.
It’s important to remember social media/networking should not just happen online. It may start online when you begin to “follow” and “like” the other’s status, but it should end with a face-to-face introduction and then continue with phone calls, meetings and cyberspacing.