Well, to me, that’s what social media sometimes feels like – anti social.

In a world where we live with technology at our fingertips it seems that rather than actually speak to someone – we’ll email, tweet, text or write something on their wall. Well, it’s quicker and easier isn’t it? But is it better? Or is it just anti social?

The truth is it depends on how you use your social media – and this should be based on what you want to achieve from it. Whatever our objective, we should always remember that it is called social media. The point being that we’re not using social media to keep people at bay; we’re using a form of media to build relationships.

What should we do (or not do)?

  • Don’t blast sales messages out there again and again. It’s very dull and people will stop listening.
  • Interact with those choosing to interact with you. Even if they’re not a potential client, they may know someone who is.
  • Add value through content, but also know that it’s ok to be interesting and show your personality –  be funny, be sensible, be wise, be cheeky, show understanding, be critical and any number or combination of these.
  • Be consistent – if you’re using social media – then use it regularly.
  • Use social media to create awareness, initiate contact and then progress the relationship – by talking. Social media will only take you so far.

At some point, if you want your social media relationships to become fruitful you are going to have to speak to, or meet the person on the end of your tweets/messages/wall posts and so on. So why leave it?

You’re too busy? Email is easier?  I don’t buy it – by the time you’ve spent hours over several weeks interacting with someone on Twitter – you could have called them and arranged to meet in less than ten minutes.

For a relationship to grow (business or otherwise), trust has to build. And whilst that can happen through social media – talking to someone or having a face-to-face conversation will simply expedite that process.  It’s how we always used to do business … so we know it works!

And a final note – think about this from a reversed perspective.

When you’re in a meeting, having coffee or at a networking group and you’re playing with your phone – what messages are you giving the people around you or the person you’re talking to?

You’ll apologise and say, “I’m sorry, I’ve just got to do this a second.”

They’ll say, “It’s fine.”

But it’s not – it says that your online conversation is more important than the face-to-face one you’re currently in. Your social media has just given you a black mark – and made you entirely anti-social.