I spent the weekend in upstate New York attending one of my favorite people in the world’s wedding. It was an absolutely beautiful affair, held in an old barn that has been standing since 1799. Coming from Chicago, where the biggest hill is the street curb, the scenery was a true and complete treat. Rolling hills covered with trees all succumbing to fall and changing from green to orange, red, and brown.
Ok, so what does this have to do with social media? There are two answers. The second you’ll get on Wednesday. But today we’re going to discuss relationships.
Being with so many wonderful friends reminded just how much relationships matter. This is true outside of work, but it’s equally true when it comes to your work life. Social media is about building relationships, and with the Internet at our fingertips it can be fairly easy. But what about taking those relationships off of Twitter and Facebook and onto a more personal level?
I’m not suggesting you turn every Twitter follower into a personal friend, but if you run across someone who you learn a lot from, perhaps that is someone worth conversing with over email or even a phone call, or if you’re lucky enough to live in the same area, a real-life meeting.
I think a lot of the reason this doesn’t happen more is because rejection online is still rejection. If you are thinking of sending someone whose blog you really admire an email, you’re putting yourself out there. It’s a hard thing to do, and one that I’m still not 100% comfortable with.
So I am going to issue you a challenge. I am not exaggerating when I say relationships are important. In fact, one of my clients bases her entire marketing business on relationship marketing. She gave me permission to share her ideas, which I will do on Friday. I guarantee, they will open up a whole new possibility in how you run your marketing campaign.
On to the challenge: In order to grow more relationships, directly after finishing reading this post, I want you think of one person you’ve been conversing with using social media. Whether it’s reading their blog, going back and forth on Twitter, or following their Facebook fan page, pick the person you think you’d connect with the most and send them an email. Just say, hello, I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed talking and learning from you online, and I think we have a lot in common. It doesn’t need to have a call to action in it. Don’t ask for anything. Just let them know you’ve enjoyed their words and work and see where it goes.
If I were going to write to anyone, it would probably be Annabel Candy. I love her blog, Get In the Hotspot, and I find her postings immensely helpful. So I will take the challenge as well. Sometime today I am going to email her and let her know how much I like her work. You report back to me and I’ll report back to you.
Here’s to forming a new relationship because of social media.
September 30, 2010
I am a fan of Annabel Candy, she is an expert in building relationships and reaches out to her audience not collectively, but individually. She is simply awesome!
Rebecca thanks for this awesome post, it reminds me that I need to put myself out there and build relationships. I look forward to your post on friday.
October 1, 2010
Hi Peter, I know, isn’t Annabel great? Who are your other favorites to read? I love the usuals, CopyBlogger, Problogger, Chris Brogan. I guess they’re the usuals for a reason. Did you reach out to anyone?
September 28, 2010
“On to the challenge: In order to grow more relationships, directly after finishing reading this post, I want you think of one person you’ve been conversing with using social media. Whether it’s reading their blog, going back and forth on Twitter, or following their Facebook fan page, pick the person you think you’d connect with the most and send them an email. Just say, hello, I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed talking and learning from you online, and I think we have a lot in common.”
AWESOME challenge. Building relationships and networking is what effective blogging is all about. It’s how we build our “tribe.” E-mailing others is a great first step.
Great piece! I also think our digital relationships are strengthened when we spread it out across different mediums. For example, a tweet + blog comment whammie will let that person know that you are dedicated to them at a deeper level.
September 29, 2010
It is for sure true that sending a message through two different mediums will pack more of a punch than just one. It’s a great thing to keep in mind while trying to build relationships. Thanks for the comment!
September 27, 2010
Hi Rebecca, well I haven’t got the email but I found your post and what a lovely surprise it is.
I leave a lot of comments on blogs as a way of building relationships with other bloggers and emailing them is definitely a second step.
I think I rely on comments more because people can see my photos and hear my opinions so it might help them remember me more easily, especially if I keep at it… the old repeat exposure thing:)
I love to get emails from my readers and always reply to them. In particular I like to hear what posts people like best and if there’s anything in particular they’d like me to write about more.
I’d say writing a blog post about someone or mentioning them on your blog is a brilliant way to reach out. Look forward to reading the next installment too:)
September 27, 2010
What a wonderful surprise to find you here. I agree that leaving comments is a fantastic way of building relationships. I have a morning ritual of going through blogs and giving myself the quota of at least 5 comments a day. Not only do I feel more a part of the community, but I’m surprised by how much traffic it draws to my blog.
All in all, I just really think making those personal connections off of the social media platforms is important. There’s only so much I can say to someone in 140 characters 🙂
Thanks so much for dropping by the blog.
September 27, 2010
Great challenge! Looking forward to reading the follow up posts to this 🙂 Here’s hoping I get a response to my email.
September 27, 2010
HI Chantielle, I hope you get one too! Keep us posted. I’m sending mine out right now.