Many people don’t understand social media and don’t understand how it can benefit their business. With out this turning into a post about social media, the best way I can explain it is by saying socialmedia is about having a conversation and making connections.  It is a way to interact with your customers in a non-threatening way and keep your name in front of them without spending a fortune on traditional advertising.

The beauty of social media platforms is that you can access people you would never have come in contact with otherwise and talk directly to them.  This allows you to build a relationship with potential customers or colleagues by gaining their trust from behind your computer screen.  So what happens when your social media world collides with the real world?  What do I mean?  I’m talking about when you meet someone in person after having connected with them online first.

Most of the time it’s a smooth transition and the online relationship you started grows into a traditional business relationship.  But sometimes the transition is not so smooth and I witnessed it happen THREE times in the last several months.  In the past few months, I have ran into people in my local community that I am connected with on various social media platforms.  All three of these people reached out to me and connected.  I’ve had conversations with them, in fact one was a private message conversation that was pretty detailed.

Can you guess what happened when I saw them in-person?  NOTHING!  That’s right, out of all three people not one recognized me to the point where they felt compelled to approach me.  Now I’ll add, I did not say anything to them either.  I recognized each right away and when I seen they weren’t reacting to me, I didn’t say anything.  The first time this happened I was surprised, but by the third time it happened to me, I was simply gathering content for this post and was more or less testing my theory that transitioning an online contact into a real world relationships could be rocky!

The moral of this story…just because our business interactions are taking place online doesn’t mean you can have the interaction and forget about it.  In order to be successful in social you have to be able to translate an online relationship into a real world relationship.  If you can’t, your social media efforts may never have the impact on your business that you hoped.

Jenn’s Social Media Tip:

My recommendation is to treat your social networking conversations as you would any other business meeting.  Try to remember information about people you interact with and if it is someone in your local community, take a minute to review their pictures so you may have a chance of recognizing them should your paths ever cross.  If you do cross paths and someone doesn’t recognize you, introduce yourself, it will show them you’ve been paying attention!