Chat me up

So often in social media we get focused on making connections, growing our connections and strengthening our engagement. Sometimes we spend so much time engaging that we forget to enjoy it. Social media is social. That is the key element.

I use social media to keep in touch with industry news, to alert me to business developments and to stay on top of what my peers are doing. But I also use it to talk to people.

Ultimately this is where I have my most meaningful engagements, when I am just talking to them.  From these conversations I often get taken off the topic and into a real connection, where I get to relax, be myself and maybe even develop a real friendship.

What about my business networking?  This actually helps it. No one wants to think that you are only in it for the business, because then they may wonder: if they did not have some financial value to offer, would you still talk to them?  That breeds distrust.  Social networking is like real life networking. You cannot just be the guy who wants to meet people because you want to be the guy who knows everyone.  It is better to be the guy who knows a few people well.

Often when my clients start they are reticent about joining the conversation. They are worried they won’t have anything to say or something meaningful to add. I try to tell them that it is a matter of joining in. If you are standing next to someone in a long line, saying hello doesn’t specifically add value to the situation, but it does create a connection.

Are you so focused on the business that you are forgetting the fun? Don’t get so involved with your strategy that you forget about the power of real communication. Because ultimately that is what engagement is, a genuine conversation.

Talk to me, and I might just talk back to you. More than once.

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