I was reaching out to a professional contact last week to schedule a meeting. For the purposes of this blog post, we'll call the contact "Ted" to protect the innocent. Well...Ted suggested that I contact "Meg" at his organization to schedule a meeting... So off I go to schedule this call with Ted and Meg, and in doing so I feel the need to give Meg some background on why Ted referred me to her. I have known Ted "socially" since 2009 - having met through a mutual Facebook friend, but our connection on Facebook evolved into a professional relationship.
In my introductory email, I made the statement that Ted and I have been socially connected for a number of years. As I finished writing those words it dawned on me how "social" business has really become. Ten years ago, to say you were socially connected to someone probably meant you were in Rotary Club together, your kids played on the same Little League team, or perhaps you attended the same church.
Today, however, being socially connected might also mean you follow someone on Twitter, have recommended them on LinkedIn, are friends on Facebook, and read each others' blogs. In a world where we consume mass amounts of social content in both our personal and professional lives, how is business NOT social?
The lines between personal and professional relationships have blurred. Think about it:
- I met Jon through my love for racing, and we are now connected on LinkedIn.
- Lisa and I are in the same small group at church, and I now follow her on Twitter.
- Jack and I attend the same monthly networking lunch and belong to some of the same social groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.
In business, no matter what your product or service is, at the end of the day, you are selling to a person. Whether you are B2B, B2C, B2B2B or B2B2C... on both ends there are people. People helping other people solve business problems. Just something to think about when you automatically assume that social media is not for you or your type of business.
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