Social Media ‘Likes’ Do Not a Network Make

If you want to be more relevant and influential in your market, social media is not going to help you.

This is because a network created out of genuine connections is far more valuable than one that has been developed online.

Don’t get me wrong, there is huge value in social media, if used properly and it can be a highly effective communications channel, however it’s easy to be seduced by the hype and as a consequence forget how true relationships are forged.

Think about your own engagement on social media. Are you checking it every day when you're busy? Do you read the articles being posted? Do you follow the commentary on your groups? Or do you switch off your notifications and get on with the pressing deadlines presented by your work, relying instead on personal, face-to-face interactions?

I caught up with a friend for coffee the other day and we started talking about social media sites and their value in our eyes.  

I asked her if she still used LinkedIn and she said when she got a message from someone asking her if she was single, that was the point she checked out.  Facebook, yes. LinkedIn, no.

It got me thinking about how I use LinkedIn and other social media sites and I realised, while I haven't had that kind of email, I use LinkedIn a lot less than I used to. Particularly when I'm busy.

In fact, my social media output falls right off the priority list when things are busy, as you can see from my lack of posts in the last few months…

The question is, if we are all extremely busy and don't have time for business related social networking how do we use social media to connect with others and build our networks?

You guessed it! We don’t.

We pick up the phone, get out of the office and go and meet people. Nothing beats face-to-face conversations, especially if you want to be relevant and influential in your market.