If you read business articles, you've seen the enthusiasm about using social media. Probably 99 percent of magazine articles, blogs and commentaries insist that you need to be on social media. But before you throw your efforts into building a buzz on the social media bandwagon, you may want to re-think your efforts.
Too many people are launching social media efforts instead of using good old-fashioned networking. (Remember, when we used to meet people face to face and shake hands?) Going completely digital and bypassing face time is detrimental to your business for a number of reasons.
All that social media makes you feel bad about yourself. Check out the majority of posts on Twitter and Facebook, and you’ll see that they are overwhelmingly positive. Nobody wants to share their misery with their audience. So post after post is a celebration. Reading all those amazing things can make you feel as if you aren’t keeping up. So recognize that social media is not a representation of reality. Read it less and you will feel better about yourself.
It’s easy, but is that a good thing? Many people, perhaps even you, feel that communication on social media is just as good as—or perhaps even better than—being face to face. After all, it’s fast, it’s direct, it’s easy. Sure, it requires less effort on everyone’s part, but is that necessarily a positive? If your competitor meets with that client that you’ve been pursuing on Twitter face to face, they have a major advantage. Real people are trusted more than electronics. And your Twitter pal could be a spammer who is actually trying to sell you something.
You lose efficiency. You may think you’re saving time by using social media sites, but they can be addicting. Before you know it, an hour has gone by and your productivity tanks. I’ll bet you are most productive when no one distracts you and your e-mail is turned off. It isn’t much of a stretch to see that fewer distractions occurring less frequently result in more productivity. Social media, with its constant stream of updates, kills efficiency and productivity.
Relationships get shorter and shorter. Social media is great for building an instant relationship, albeit a shallow one. But to communicate with more and more people, your connections become more and more shallow. Deep relationships that are long-term and trusting are the foundation of a great business. Social medial alone might be a quick way to build a house of cards, but it is a house of cards, nonetheless.
All the social media in the world can never replace simply meeting someone face to face and having a conversation. Social media lacks the depth of real meetings. Through social media, everyone is a screen name, so relationships stay distant. That makes it challenging to move them forward so they can flourish.
When you opt for a real networking opportunity, you have a chance to get to know someone and make a connection. Those connections are bonding and will help your business to thrive. Get back to the basics of looking people in the eye, and see how much better you and your prospects feel as a result.