. . . without relationships or the opportunity to build relationships. I’ve given multiple talks on the benefits of being active on social media to audiences ranging from college students to seasoned professionals. I can talk about personal branding, crafting the perfect tweet, or how many times to post to Facebook based on your audience. I have had both personal and professional success on multiple platforms. However, none of this would have been possible without the relationships I developed with the people on the other side of the computer screen.
People want to do business with people. They want to work with people they know, like, and trust. The power of social media is the ability to connect with people in a new, and very personal, way. The information shared on platforms like Facebook allows me to see who people really are. It gives me, and anyone else connected to that individual, a glimpse into who that person is and what he or she enjoys. It allows me to pass over the small talk and have a meaningful conversation centered on what that person is sharing.
I keep in touch with friends all over the country through social media. It is so easy to communicate and keep up to date through the various platforms. There have been times when a friend will come to town whom I haven’t seen in years but we still know everything the other is doing thanks to Facebook or Twitter. We pick up right where we left off because we know how each other’s families are, how the job is going, and what exciting things are going on in each other’s lives. This happens with professional relationships as well, thanks to the openness and personal side of a lot of the different platforms.
Social media is not the answer or the end-all to building long-lasting and viable relationships. It is a great tool to share ideas, meet new people, and connect with long lost friends. Each platform is different and allows the user to customize his or her experience. It also gives your followers the opportunity to see what you care about and who you are outside of regular business hours. To most people, this person is just as important as the business person they usually see.