Connections or relationships? Online or offline?

on July 2 | in Facebook, LinkedIn, Personal Development, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter | by | with 9 Comments

I was reminded earlier this week of a mantra I’ve often passed on to those new in Social Networking.  It’s something I’ve often kept in mind, but occasionally, something happens to really drive the message home.  The mantra is simple:

Make connections online – build relationships offline.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. have allowed me to make contact and engage with a far wider audience than I would have believed possible, only a few years ago.  Casting a quick eye over those contacts and it’s immediately clear that in the vast majority of cases, the stronger engagement is with people I’ve met – or at least spoken to by phone. Of course, there are those exceptions that prove the rule – and in those few cases, it tends to require a deep shared interest that underlies the connection, or a connection which has taken years to cement.

The reason I felt compelled to write on the topic?  A brief coffee last week.  Someone I’ve not known for that long, originally a few tweets back and forth, then a chance meeting at an industry event.  That chance meeting led to a more focussed discussion, then an opportune coffee this week.  As I left the coffee-house, I reflected on a few conversations we’d had where my companion had offered to go the extra mile and help me out. Real trust and confidence.  We’ve only known each other a few months; I have connections on LinkedIn and Twitter which go back so much further – but carry significantly less weight.

I guess it’s just human nature and no doubt there are specialists in this field who can really explain the detail behind it. I’m not one of them, so for now – I just wanted to share that mantra in the hope it helps others too.

  • A shared interest is a powerful driver, I've been blown away by the amount of connections I've made in such a short space of time…but most importantly has been the opportunities created that has enabled the connection to develop into a relationship off-line.
    Nice Mantra and thanks for sharing it.
    KR
    Carol

    • Thanks for the comment Carol. It's a mixed personal/professional blog, so you'll see a range of topics come this way! Glad this one hit the right note for you.

  • Gary Franklin

    Great post James, mirrored thoughts and reflects on how important engagement and conversation is

  • That is a great post, James. I have the same experience that you described and that's why I am so positive about social mobile media.

    Additionally, I suggest that the divide between real and virtual world doesn't actually exist – as both influence each other and are driven by the same individual, just using different methods of communication and engagement.

    • Agreed Felix. Recognising real and virtual co-exist is the first step. Only then can you start to manage your connections & relationships effectively.

  • After this weekend you may wish some of us didn't know you and vice versa 😉

    What goes on Facebook stays on Facebook – watch out for the camera lady!!

  • Hi James, just recieved this curious update on your blog from Peter Gold…but I do not understand what Peter is attempting to say. Could you or Peter explain further for me please?
    thank you
    Carol

    • We've both just attended an away weekend – a group of recruiters with a strong social media affinity – let loose in Devon for discussion, development, beer and surfing!

  • ….and now it makes perfect sense – thank you :o)

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