I really wanted to use a picture of a fight but …………. (smile). With all the hype surrounding Social media as a way to make contacts, it reminds me that it is even more important to meet contacts. As others have properly pointed out, it’s not about numbers, it is about conversions. And, in my experience, conversions occur face-to-face. Networking is still very much about “pressing the flesh” and “meet and greet”. Why do you think they have TweetUps? Even good little Tweeple recognize that, at some point, they are actually going to have to speak to each other in order to take the relationship to the next higher level (smile).
What social media really is, as Justin Foster puts so well, “old rules, new tools.” It’s still communication. Social media excels in the areas of branding and initiating some form of contact. Case in point. I was having coffee with Jacob Nordby the other day and as some people were leaving he stopped this one gal and said “Aren’t you …..”. And, yes, she was. They had never met but recognized each other from Twitter. This is a result of branding. Jacob was initiating a form of contact. Mission accomplished. And there are many avenues to get to that goal. Honestly, while social media can be a lot of work, by the same token it encourages folks to be lazy where it counts. Here are some of my favorite, and proven, old school methods:
- Lunch or coffee. I have never taken a client or a referrer out to one of these without having come back with at least one new opportunity. Generally multiples.
- Networking groups. Need I say anymore about that?
- Public Hearings. I picked up the Home Depot account by being at a public hearing where I was, at the time, representing US Bank.
- Networking events. Once again, pressing the flesh.
- Any form of business or social group or event that involves meeting people.
- How about picking up the phone or actually writing something that requires a stamp?
On a sadder note, I regret to announce the following …. Having owned a Blackberry about 5 years ago, I swore I would never have another. That pledge has been broken (smile). Naturally, inquiring minds want to know what has driven me to this crazed state. Had to do it. Had to keep up with technology. I was FORCED! So, why not an iPhone? Not much choice with that. I am a T-Mobile customer and, while T-Mobile I believe is the only other carrier around where you can “jail break” an iPhone and make it work, I was not about to spend the $500, or whatever it is, for that privilege. There is another more important reason. I live in what could be considered a “cell service free” zone and I work out of my home. I use T-Mobile’s Hot Spot at Home to connect to my wireless router and actually make and receive calls over the internet. It’s like having a cell tower in my house. As an added benefit, and as T-Mobile does not have 3G service yet in my area, my Crackberry Curve 8900 connects to my wifi for web browsing and I am more interested in email and Twitter than I am at surfing. (more…)