Online Networking & the Personal Touch

Mother and Son 1

It doesn’t take much time or expend much energy, but lending the personal touch to networking really makes all the difference.  This is true, of course, to either your online or offline relationships, but for some reason, what comes naturally when engaging offline is so often disregarded online.

Natasha Phillips, in her comment on my launch post made an observation that I was combining the old with the new:

I love the mix of content, which encourages the progressive use of cutting edge gadgets (!) whilst at the same time paying homage to good old fashioned codes of conduct!

I honestly hadn’t thought of it in that way but it makes absolute sense to me.  Why would the practices that have served us well in the past not serve us equally well in the digital age?  When we meet someone face to face, we listen attentively, we read their facial expressions, their body language, the lilt of their voice, and we respond appropriately. In other words, we pay attention to the details.

Why should we behave any differently when we meet someone in a virtual environment?

It’s all too easy to look at your flock of followers and feel pride in your networking skills, but how much could you tell me about just one of those individual followers?  Their location?  Their profession?  Or maybe you can go one better.  Maybe that they have a whole menagerie at home.  They have a passion for vinyl records.  They’re looking for a 2nd hand car as their last one broke down on their way to work last week.

Knowledge of these kind of details can change a follower into a genuine connection.  As I suggested in my first post here, this is not something that you can generate overnight.  This is an ongoing commitment leading to durable, strong bonds between you and your community.  And it’s not something that you can fake either, as in all your networking, it is absolutely key to be genuinely interested in others – attention to the details is just one of those ways in which you can express your interest.  It’s one of the ways in which you can ensure you bring the personal touch to online networking.

6 responses to “Online Networking & the Personal Touch

  1. One of the things I picked up via a comment conversation at Liz Strauss’ blog…

    “Be interested, as well as interesting”

    Works a treat (and you model it so well Amy!)

  2. Amy –
    These are such important things to remember. I really am interested in other people, and am a good listener (i think) in person. But online I get caught up in trying to be clever in my wording, or trying to market myself the way I think I’m supposed to, and I don’t do enough listening and asking.
    Thanks for the reminder,

  3. I find this really interesting. It’s true, and from a consumer’s point of view I’ve always enjoyed buying online from thrift communities and Etsy and ebay more than and so on. When people go to the bother of putting in a wee card to say thanks, or to send emails keeping you updated really makes the experience.

    I really hope this starts to come through more online.

  4. I believe there are two schools of thoughts around social interaction…

    One group “The Networkers” say we don’t need technology and our networking circles are as important as they always were…

    The second “The Paradigm Challengers” say that combining technology with the best bits of the old fashioned principles will get you to a new Mecca, opening business doors with ease…

    I personally think the former are dinosaurs and will die out in time.

    Amy, I believe you are firmly in the “Paradigm Challenger” camp…

  5. Joanna – That’s a great attitude to adopt to social media, isn’t it! Trust Liz to encapsulate it so well.

    Hilary – Engagement is absolutely key to getting on well in social media – listening & asking are great ways to engaging with anyone – online or off!

    Nicola – I truly believe that it’s already coming through – it’s one of the things that attracts me to social media so strongly.

    George – Ooh, I like that – Paradigm Challenger! That aside, I completely agree with you – I think it makes absolute sense to take what we have and move forward. We should allow the old to embrace the new and then harness that energy to propel ourselves (society, culture, technology etc) forward. Exciting times ahead!

  6. Pingback: Sparkle Roundup! | Sparkle and Glitter

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