After all the time I’ve spent advocating social media networking and online marketing on this blog, I’m going to step back and tell you that the digital arena isn’t the whole world. Online activities are great to have and make a real contribution to your business goals; but the story can’t begin and end there.
People still like to spend time in the proximate – not virtual – company of other people. No matter how handy e-commuting and virtual teamwork can be, there’s still value in getting face-to-face in real life and thrashing things out. A handshake is still a more tangible – and powerful – way to reach out than a ping.
Which is not to say that all the e-campaigning I’ve been writing about, is somehow lacking somwhere. However, we aren’t yet at a stage where digital interactions have replaced real face time as a venue for valuable conversation and discussion. People still like to have an old-fashioned chat with someone whom they intend to do business with. Being accessible in offline venues helps to take an online interaction to the next level. It’s good to always tie your online pipeline to an offline meeting with someone from your organization, when your audience member want to take things to the next level.
And that’s not all; it helps to use digital networks to power real world networking; organize a meet-up for your twitter group, get your facebook fans to check in to your stall at a local fair that’s related to your brand and so on. Remember, if you’re building community, there’s nothing like getting people into the same room; there’s more energy, more creativity and more sense of belonging.
So the next time you review your strategy, see how you’re leveraging facebook time to gain face time, look for ways to transform tweets into meets and see how you can take it from cyberspace to ‘meatspace’, or the good old physical world most of us still have some connection to!
Here at i-Vista, we believe that a good digital strategy drives increased chances of real-world quality interactions with existing and potential customers and vice versa. To find out more about how we enable the transition, drop us a line!