Crossing The Lines Of Social Media And Real Life

Social Media TechSocial 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.

15 thoughts on “Crossing The Lines Of Social Media And Real Life

  1. Robert, you make some very important points and remind us that being human means connecting in a physical rather than virtual manner. A connection where EQ is often as relevant as IQ in forming our relationships. I do think this is critical for those focused on collaboration efforts and community or mutual benefit. We are often tempted to concentrate more on the numbers of connections and followers, which benefits those focused on marketing endeavors; but as you point out even they will derive value from IRL connections. I wonder how Klout or Kred will capture those.

    Time we had a chat over a coffee.

    1. Klout and Kred can not only never capture the human element, they are incapable of accurately measuring influence properly based on an algorithm I can and have manipulated to prove a point. Forget worthless scores and focus on relationships you can provide value to and therefore achieve real and measurable results.

      Definitely on the coffee chat man. Let’s get something scheduled.

      Thanx for the support man!

    2. What do you mean by “EQ”? I am familiar with the term as being a shortened form of “Equalization” but only in terms of audio recording and sound support (like a public address system).

  2. You are so very right on with this post, Robert. I believe that one of the main goals of marketing should be to build trust with your prospective customers to the point where they not only become your clients but also freely recommend you to their friends and associates. Businesses that I have IRL experiences with are much more likely to gain my trust and get to the place where I am comfortable putting my reputation on the line and telling others about them.

  3. Excellent stuff Robert, as I said on the show this week, the digital relationship should on be the “starting” point. So many don’t take the relationship to the next level and that is such a fail. Besides I look at it as getting to know the person on a deeper level, who doesn’t like to make friends…

  4. You are right on with this one Robert. It’s great to meet some “peeps” in person or via video chat. I’ve done some of that and it really enriches the relationship. There are so many ways we can connect with people today that there is no excuse for not connecting. Just keep in real, right?

  5. Great post, Robert! Recently I came across a discussion topic on LinkedIn that really set me back. The question was do we really need face to face meetings when we have all this opportunity to connect virtually with social media? That question not only netted quite the response from me, but it also spawned a blog post on the topic. I called it “Face to Face is Social Too!”

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