Social media gets real when relationships grow into real life connections. Whether it be customers walking into your store, phone calls to further conversations or video chats resulting in a deeper relationship, IRL (in real life) needs to be a part of your social media strategy.
We have become so digital that many no longer touch, feel and connect in real life. The power, reach and efficiency that social media marketing provides is undeniable, but what are we missing? Deep human connection can only go so far within the digital realm. For many, the IRL component is required in order to take a business relationship to the next level. The fact is, technology is extremely useful, but technology will never make us human. In fact, if we are not careful it will do the opposite.
A good friend of mine @jamesoliverjr pointed this video out to me the other day, and it struck such a cord that I had to share it.
Ask yourself these questions…
- What is your IRL social media marketing strategy?
- Is your brand getting real with your audience on a human level?
- Is the overuse of technology effecting your personal relationships in ways you haven’t considered?
- Are you consciously taking time and making effort to get to coffee with friends, prospects and customer relationships you have in the social graph?
Here is an easy to follow path to moving a relationship toward real-life opportunities:
1) Identify a person you wish to deepen your relationship with.
2) Increase the amount of comments on and sharing of their content. Do this slowly over an extended period of time. Doing it too rapidly comes across kind of creepy. Good relationships are built over time, not in a few days.
3) Spend more time getting to know them and what they do through more frequent interactions. When in conversations, use them as opportunities to ask more personal questions about them. Remember what you learn and ask them about specific events and activities they mentioned that were coming up in your next conversations.
4) Raise the IRL idea casually. Try using phrases like – We should grab coffee sometime. We should chat sometime. I’d love to ask you some questions on a phone call if you some time. These soft approaches to raising the idea allows you to judge their willingness without backing them into a wall. If they give a positive response, simply ask when would be good for them. If the response is negative or cold, continue with steps 2 and 3 for an extended period of time before raising the issue again.
I am very proud that our company, a social media software firm, does a tremendous amount of IRL interaction with our customers and prospects. The results from these furthered relationships are easily measured and valued by both our company and our users. Don’t underestimate the value and impact that taking social media relationships outside of the social graph has. A cup of coffee, phone call or video chats deepens your social media relationships and makes a real human connection that cannot be achieved with technology alone.