Here’s the paradox: many people still think that Social Media is about technology. No, it’s all about relationships, sweetie. The “sweetie” comes from the kiss acronym, “keep it simple sweetie”. Way before anyone ever invented a computer, people looked each other in the eye and build relationships. If all the power in the grid went out tomorrow and no one could get online, people would still look each other in the eye and build relationships.
As my friend, Bob Burg, says, “All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people they like, know and trust”. This is no different whether online or offline. One of the great outcomes of the effective use of Social Media is that it increases the “like, know, trust factor” before you even have your first personal interaction with another person. This is a wonderful way to differentiate yourself in the marketplace and start a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with your customers, clients, strategic alliances and networking partners.
Google is so 20th century. We’ve already entered the second decade of the 21st century. Of course, people can check you and your company out on Google, but more and more people are figuring out that they can do incredible due diligence and market research on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. This is a huge opportunity for the person or company that understands the power of Social Media.
Remember that business is all about relationships whether you are in a commodity business or deliver a high ticket professional services offering. Again, all things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people (and companies) they like, know and trust. In a more and more over caffeinated, hyper-competitive, 24/7/365, Crackberry world, relationships are the key differentiator.
As kum-bah-yah and group hug as this may sound, savvy businesses and individuals are figuring out that developing sincere and authentic relationships with their business partners is the key to long-term success. Spend the time locating the self-identified people and companies that you would like to do business with and invest the time in developing relationships with them. And always remember that what we do speaks so loud that what we say, others often cannot hear. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.