Many small and medium sized businesses have a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These are used to profile the company and its services or recruit new talent.
One has to pose the question of whether the rise of social media has been to the detriment and neglect of face-to-face contact.
It is possible to initiate relationships online but this cannot replace the necessity to meet the people who may be potential clients or staff for your business. There are certain nuances, which one can pick up with face-to-face communication that cannot be displayed when communicating through a medium. Character and personality are examples of such nuances. Face-to-face contact helps to build trust.
If you meet someone as a direct result of viral marketing in Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn be sure your personal brand online matches the reality. Businesses are built on relationships. As the relationships grow and develop, so does the business. Often written communication cannot fully capture the true tone and meaning intended by the sender. A punctuation mark in the incorrect place can easily change the meaning of a sentence. We have all heard horror stories of spur-of-the-moment emails containing sentiments that would never have been said in person.
Like all new phenomena, the frenzy to self-publicise will eventually calm down. The savvy entrepreneur will end up using social marketing tools as part of a balanced portfolio of communication, used in different ways depending on their benefits and the audience.
Actually meeting people will remain a vital part of doing business. Business breakfasts, lunches and other informal gathering are excellent platforms to meet your clients and get a sense of their needs and expectations.This provides them an opportunity to relay information and articulate sentiments that would not be appropriately captured in an email or a tweet. Meeting clients and potential clients may also be an often to discover commonly interests and beliefs which will strengthen your working relationship. Social media has many merits and demerits, but it can never replace face-to-face human interaction.
This article has been re-purposed for this blog. The original article may be sourced from New Business.co.uk