Use Social Media to Compliment Reality, Not Replace It

Have you ever seen get-out-of-the-social-media-pod“The Matrix”? There is a scene where futuristic human beings are laid out in pods, stagnant, and living in a virtual environment which is far from reality. While I love this series of movies, I try to steer clear of living this lifestyle, no matter how tempting it may be. Humans are meant to make eye contact, hear each others’ voices, maybe even hug or shake hands. We are wired to be social.

Now putting my own opinion aside, I can tell you from experience that:

1. Putting social media in a vacuum doesn’t work without the help of other marketing channels.

2. Expecting social media to do all the “social work” for you will limit growth.

The point I am trying to make is that social media is used to compliment real relationships, whether you use it for introductions or relationship nurturing. I believe this is true for anyone, no matter what industry you are in. It just so happens that I’ve made it work for ME.

Instead of using the telephone to make introductions, which seems further away from best practice nowadays, you can now use the so called “social telephone”. It’s less obtrusive and gives people a chance to do some investigative work before they respond.

Here’s an example:

You are subscribed to a blog, and you really like the content that one of the authors creates week in and week out. Since, you like the content so much, you take great pride in sharing it with your followers/friends. They really like it too. The author gets exposure, and they appreciate your willingness to share their work. A relationship has been initiated.

For the next few months, you find some commonalities and begin to take the relationship to the next level. Sounds a lot like dating right? It is VERY similar to dating in fact.

Before you know it, you find that you are going to be in the same location as the author, and you decide to set up in-person meet up. The meeting goes really well. The two of you have some laughs and get to know each other on a much deeper level.

Eye contact, hand shaking, viewing each others’ facial expressions, maybe even a hug is icing on the cake when crossing the digital divide.

This is where real work and opportunities arise, only with real world contact. Give it a try. I promise you, won’t be disappointed!

I would love to hear some examples of your experience of using social media to compliment real world relationships. I might even put your responses into an e-book with your name and link to your website attached!

image credit: military times

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About Nick Robinson

Nick Robinson is the Director of Client Services for Social Media HQ. He has a strong background in web development, marketing, and entrepreneurship. His professional experience with the web dates back to 1997 when he coded his first Geocities website. When not burning the midnight oil, you can find him on the lacrosse field, playing or coaching. The best place to interact with him is Twitter - @socialrobinson or Google+.
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  • Dane John Cobain

    Well for us, we’re unlikely to ever meet as we’re based in different countries, but social has allowed us to build up a relationship despite this. I can’t even remember how we first met each other, but I imagine it was by me leaving a comment on one of your blog posts – the rest is history!