Social networking is people having conversations online. The way we communicate and network is changing. The old way was with relatives, schoolmates, co-workers, family. And very much dictated by genetics or geography or our job.
Now, with the Internet, we have new tools and ways to gather people to us. They involve a different mindset. We can communicate with anyone in the world in a matter of seconds.
You only need to look at your kids and how they are using Facebook. I was speaking to a client last week who has an 11 and 14 year old. I asked how they communicated with him. His answer: ‘…text and Facebook’. ‘What about email?’, I asked. ‘Only when they have to and then it’s full of abbreviations for as many words as possible, that I don’t understand!’, he replied.
The 18 year old of today is your potential client of tomorrow. They communicate in a way that is quick, immediate and on a social network. They will email or Facebook, they won’t necessarily go to Google; they will ask for a recommendation via their social networks or search Facebook and expect to find a business page for your company.
Something I talk about in my workshops is Social Networking vs. social networking. When you got to a physical networking event, is what you are doing social? Is what you are doing networking? Yes! There are a lot of similarities between ‘real’ world and virtual world networking. But there are also some great bits about social networking that you don’t get with physical networking. For example, if you are in the comfort of your own home networking online, you:
- Don’t get stuck with people!
- Can watch your kids and not get a sitter.
- Don’t have to go out in the rain and wind.
- Don’t have to stand up in front of a roomful of strangers.
BUT I am absolutely NOT saying don’t do physical networking, it’s been brilliant for my business and I still do it. But social networking can work in tandem or in parallel with the face to face meetings. And act as another channel or channels to spread the word about your business.
Tune in next week for our blog post on what social networking isn’t…..
For some great tips on using Facebook to build online relationships that result in business offline, you can visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheSocialSardine or visit our website: www.thesocialsardine.com