When I was publishing a women’s magazine in the 1990s, networking was the buzzword. Today it is social media networking. The concepts are not that different. I see positives in both methods of connecting with like-minded individuals. Information/knowledge is power. In the 90s I strove to empower women of all ages by bringing them information and spreading the word on whatever it was that they did.
Close Relationships vs Immediacy and Greater Numbers
I think the face-to-face networking of the 90s created a powerful medium for both inbound and outbound marketing that had a deeper depth than social media marketing. Numerous connections made every minute on social media networks give one a sense of marketing growth that might not always be realistic. Upon examination, many, I find, are just superficial. The real positive for social media networking is in its immediacy and the ability to reach out to many individuals at the same time and at greater distances.
Often as I traveled back and forth across the state, it amazed me to meet women and/or groups of women struggling with a project and had no idea that other women somewhere else in the state were having the same struggle or had already completed a similar project. They were missing a link.
Much of what I did during that time focused on connecting women with information and giving them a medium to share their diverse ideas. Social media networking would have made those efforts easier. A combination of the personal face-to-face meetings (there are many meetups everywhere) and social media networking is what I believe will benefit everyone reaching out to others.
Practicing Relationship Marketing
In the business networking of the 90’s individuals exchanged business cards and followed up with a phone call or email, whereas with social media networking they are exchanging links. The results are the same; making connections. In both instances, networkers were practicing relationship marketing. The biggest difference, in my estimation, is the amount of information we put out about ourselves today. That wasn’t the case in the 90’s. Of course, we still have a choice of how much and what details on our lives we put into the public domain.
Complete those Profiles
A key component of social media is completing your profile on each medium (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, others) that you have joined. It is very important that you give some thoughts to this profile before you do it. You don’t have the advantage of a face-to-face impression, consequently, you have to make your words paint a picture of who you are. As you complete it, consider what you would say if you were talking directly to a new acquaintance. It is easy to forget to be personal when all you’re doing is typing into a profile form on a computer.
Here’s a great exercise. As you answer each question of a profile, pretend you are talking to a person. Making it a conversation will help you develop your profile so it will have the personal feel of face-to-face marketing. Please comment and let me know how you do.