Social media is ubiquitous. We are being implored, seduced, and threatened that we must use it or perish. I was initially a reluctant participant, entering each new platform and site with trepidation and doubt. I considered myself an “old school” networker who met others face-to-face rather than virtually. However, a few years later and I am a strong advocate of using social media to expand your network…and your message. It started with LinkIn, was followed by my blog, Facebook, and then Twitter. I have become quite active in all of those platforms, but never stopped meeting others face-to-face in networking groups, for coffee, and meals. It is really the confluence of social media and face-to-face networking that makes an effective marketing strategy. Social media allows you to take your campaign global without leaving your office (or computer), while the face-to-face interactions give others a sense of you as a real flesh and blood human being. Just as a good football team has to have a varied attack (rushing and passing), an effective networker must also vary the attack. Continue to show up to mixers and gatherings, all the while remaining active and visible in social media of your choice. You don’t have to tweet, but you do have to meet. Remain open minded, because one thing we can be sure of, and that is change. Stay aware and stay connected, not only for the business benefits, but also for the intrinsic joy of being connected in a meaningful way with others.
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