I’m writing this blog post from New York City, where I have over 2,000 LinkedIn connections. Prior to my trip, I decided to reach out to a number of those connections, specifically ones who worked in jobs related to mine. My pitch was simple: I’m not selling anything, I just want to put the “social” back into social media. How about we get together while I’m in town and we meet up IRL (In Real Life)? I’d like to finally meet you and hear about what you are doing!
Guess how many responses I got back? (Yes, it was more than zero.) But the number of meetings I actually booked was sadly very few. Some people were out of town, so I get that. Many never replied, even though I sent a personal message. Some wanted to set up a phone call with me so they could sell me something. Overall, I was disappointed with this little experiment. The reason for social media, including LinkedIn (even as a “business network”), is NOT to sell people, but to create relationships that help you build the KLT (Know, Like & Trust) factor.
It seems to me that many of us simply hide on social media instead of putting down our phones and getting out to actually meet people. I’ve been to restaurants where I see everyone at the party texting on their phones instead of having a conversation with the people they are sitting with. Really?!? Even as an introvert, connecting with people and actually doing something with them is important to me. I try to meet up with my friends on social media regardless of where I’m visiting. It’s not only fun, but it strengthens relationships. And that, not sales, is the reason why as business owners it is important to be on social media.
What would your response have been if one of your connections reached out to you? Would you have met a relative stranger for coffee just because you were connected on social media? I’m not even sure what I would do, but as someone who is in the internet marketing field, I will make this public promise: If you come to Denver and want to meet up, hit me up and I will do my best to make it happen!