The telephone was created in 1876 and served as a means to transmit messages and enhance the power of speech. Almost 100 years later email was created by Ray Tomlinson in an effort to easily exchange messages with others. Heck, text messages were developed in the 90s as a quick messaging platform, not a substitute for talking on the phone. None of these tools were meant to replace conversation, rather they strengthened our relationships and extended our reach.
Here at GreenMellen, we truly believe social media is a crucial tool for businesses to embrace in order to create relationships, establish credibility, and share your passion with the world; but that by no means should give you permission to disregard the power of a person-to-person relationship. In other words, it is important to remember that your social media efforts should not replace your communications strategy, but should enhance your relationships by adding another layer of connection between you and your contacts.
I read an article last week that really hit home for me. It reminds us that relationships are the original purpose behind all the media forms we use. We are living in a society that has begun to take relationships for granted by hiding behind computers and connecting with others on a digital level. Businesses do not thrive off of weak connections. Think of it this way: your closest friends are likely individuals whom you speak with on regular basis, see in person as often as schedules allow, and engage with on an intimate, personal level. The same goes for your clients and customers. Engaging with your professional relationships beyond social media will solidify an intimate bond that social media and email cannot begin to touch. It is these digital tools that can either introduce you to your next contact, or enhance a connection with existing customers.
In 2013 we challenge you to embrace your relationships and focus on enhancing them digitally. Don’t underestimate the power of a handshake, and I assure you your business will thrive.