How often do you shake a hand?
Here’s my guess: Not as often as you used to. …Am I close?
The Internet makes it easy to get more comfortable with virtual relationships and less comfortable with the real stuff. More and more often we build marketing plans around Google rankings and tweet schedules and don’t leave room for a face-to-face conversation.
Now don’t get me wrong: Social media is important and needs to be done right. But sometimes (and I’m totally guilty of this) we’ll be around people we’d like to get to know, and instead of walking over and introducing ourselves, we make a note to find them on Twitter.
It’s easier, right? Isn’t that why we defer to social media to mediate the relationship? Having a conversation through 140 characters at a time certainly is easier than being vulnerable and approaching a stranger.
But here’s the kicker: Relationships are not easy. In fact, a lot of times relationships are hard. But that’s when you learn about the other person’s honesty, integrity, and reliability – and when they learn about yours.
When our marketing tactics bypass the handshake and get too focused on our online strategy, we might show people that we’re funny or knowledgeable, but we can’t demonstrate those deeper values that let people know they can trust us with their money, project, or ideas.
The best thing for your company will be when people say, “I know that guy – he’s a great guy,” rather than “I follow that guy on Twitter – he seems nice.”
The latter indicates a good strategy. The former indicates a great brand.