When was the last time you received a firm handshake from someone who looked you in the eye?
If it has been more than a month, you might want to think about unplugging your computer, and reconnecting with humanity.
While I love the concept of interacting with family, friends and customers via social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you have to be able to recognize when your relationship building goes completely digital.
If your closest friend has a hard drive instead of a heartbeat, your online social status as taken over!
Meeting “real” people on a daily basis remains the most important business practice you can implement. Most people that resist the power of social media do so based on a fear of losing touch with their physical human connections. They’re terrified of becoming addicted to a digital device that is not capable of expressing emotion.
Digital platforms have gone so far as to develop virtual feelings in the form of emoticons. An emoticon is that little smiley face, or the fluttering heart that you see attached to text messages or status updates.
When business owners realize the importance of incorporating social media into their existing online marketing plan, one of two things tend to occur. They embrace the power of getting social online, but continue to maintain a healthy offline nearness to their customers. Or, they grow so enamored with the connections that they are making online, they fail to see the value in cultivating real relationships. They hide behind their digital dream machine, and start to lose touch with reality.
Technology is constantly improving. There’s no hiding from the advances, but as long as you are smart enough to see the growing market price in networking, and offline team building, your path to success will be fruitful. Your computer, iPad and smart phone will forever lack compassion and a warmly human understanding of life itself!
Learn how to harness the power of the social web, and you will be rewarded in both popularity, and increased revenue. Abuse it, and you’ll turn into Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings."
If you’re not familiar with the character of Gollum, I strongly advise you to Google it. Or ask a friend!
Andy Sokolovich is the owner of small business marketing firm Bent Business Marketing. He can be reached at andy@BentBusinessMarketing.com.