In case you missed yesterday’s post, I’m offering you my 10 wishes for you in 2014 (and for myself, for that matter – I’m not off the hook!). Today’s two wishes are about relationships, both on social media, and off:
- Make This the Year You Go Social: If you’re not using social media yet (well, you’re probably not reading this post then!), make this the year you do it! If you’re afraid of either being overwhelmed by it or making a mistake, start small – head over to LinkedIn and get your profile set up. Connect with people and start to engage with them, once a week if you’re busy. Know that social media is still so new that everyone is still learning what it all means and what the right tools are. And don’t be afraid to ask questions – of your colleagues, friends, or consultants, if you need them. You won’t regret it.
- But Take it Offline: I’m a big fan of social media (a BIG fan), but you’ve got to take those relationships offline to make them meaningful. If you’re connected to people in your city, reach out and ask them to meet for a cup of coffee or lunch. They don’t even have to be in your industry (see #2 above). Just take those online relationships that you’re creating and nurturing into the real world to make those connections stronger. Relationships are what drive us, personally and professionally (remember when I talked about that here?). Some of the most fulfilling and meaningful relationships are those I have started through social media, and are continued through social media, but they have come offline. Check out these recap posts too for some more thoughts on this – here, here and here.
Another great place to take relationships offline? Conferences! All of us must attend one conference a year for the most part, and sometimes they can be daunting networking opportunities. But I’ve found that Twitter can be a great place to meet people – before a conference, find out what the hashtag is for the event, and start following along with the conversation to see who else will be there. You may already know a few people, or it’s an opportunity to engage with people you haven’t met yet.
Then, when you’re at the conference, use the hashtag to let people know where you are – looking for someone to eat lunch with? Tweet that out, with a meeting place. Sitting in a session and not sure who else is in there? Tweet that out. Make sure when you’re tweeting from a conference that you’re making arrangements to meet people in person – even if you just say hello at the beginning or end of a session. You can also use social media to connect with the people that you’ve met – add a speaker that you particularly liked to your LinkedIn connections, and tell them why you liked their presentation. Add the contacts that you’ve made with a note reminding them of your conversation. There are so many ways to blend in-person and online relationships, and this is the year to do it!
I’ll be back tomorrow with another two wishes for you!