Social media can help you connect to people in remote locations. But one of the most powerful features of social media is its ability to connect you with people in your neighborhood. Whether your business needs local customers, or whether you need to find your peers in your geography, you can use social media to connect with people in real life.
- Before You Start: You have one or more social media accounts.
- Learning level: 4 | Creating Solutions
- Article Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
It’s All About Interaction
I’ve been online for a very long time. I don’t mean just today. I was using Prodigy back in 1991 and I got my first internet service provider (ISP) account in 1992. I’ve watched the internet grow, and sometimes I wax lyrical about the old days of the internet.
The Unsocial Web
One thing about the old internet that I don’t miss is the way it isolated people. Geeks and techies all over the world started hunkering down behind their monitors for long hours, reaching out to other kindred souls located in distant and remote locations around the world. It was a time when we started to realize just how small the world really was.
The Social Web
When I jumped into the social media swimming pool a few years back, I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, to find out that the people I was talking to in the Phoenix metro area knew each other. In real life! Not as avatars on Twitter. Or through their blogs. They hung out together frequently. They went to the same events. They really knew each other.
When I attended my first tweetup at a local coffee shop and started putting faces with the Twitter handles, I had a revelation. Social media is what people use to stay in touch between real life conversations.
Social Media Is Social
I suspect that many of the small business people above a certain age have the wrong idea about social media because they have outdated ideas about the internet. They remember the days when it was full of anonymous people lurking behind computers. But social media isn’t like that. Social media is overflowing with exciting, diverse people who may live down the street or across the country, but who have things in common with you. And they want to talk to you about these things.
One of the most engaging things your business can do it schedule events where you meet your social media community in real life. If you want to get people excited about your business, you need to meet them, in real life when possible. Schedule events to make this happen. Take advantage of tweetups when you travel. In other words, don’t overlook the social of social media. You might just be surprised at how big the world really is.
Your turn: How social has your experience of social media been so far? Are you involved in tweetups or other social media events in your community? Share your experience here.