We are just getting back in the office after attending an annual conference of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) of which we are members. We were also invited to be part of the program at this event by leading a couple of sessions on social media. Seems a bit ironic but teaching folks how to be more virtually social, so to speak, at an event we all know plays a crucial role in growing our business, face2face networking. It has never been a mystery that with the right connections in business you can land the right deals and form stronger partnerships, which if handled properly will show up on the bottom line.
Along comes social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter allowing us to optimize, streamline and improve our networking reach. Social media is interesting, captivating, powerful and very much needed in today’s engagement cycle. But a savvy networker knows that nothing beats standing face2face and having the opportunity for a handshake.
Placing too much of a focus on social networking and not enough on face2face networking can have a negative impact on your business and career. Reports show 40% of Americans now spend more time socializing online than they do in person. In addition, nearly 20% prefer communication via text or the Internet over talking face2face or on the phone. This only results in a large number of connections with shallow relationships. No matter how well the latest digital channel allows us to stay in touch, a face2face meeting can cement a relationship!
Face2face networking is about long-term connections with long-term credibility. Networking online only augments face2face networking and will never replace a firm handshake and eye contact.
Focus on your credibility with the people you’re networking with and not only will your network grow, but by spending a little time in their face you’ll also increase the friendliness of any room into which you walk.
BTW: POMA’s tag line, Together, we’re doing great things!™