Are you a fake?
Oct 15, 2017
(Voice of a cool voiceover actor)
In a world of constant social media barrage, one person strives to conquer the odds and develop a real meaningful relationship with someone that has an actual pulse…
Is that you? We all see the myriad of posts from the usual suspects on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter; the retweets of the retweets of some story you’ve seen five times already on the same news feed. As we scroll through this gauntlet of digital beatings, we question, “How important is any of this info to me, and when in God’s name did I actually connect with some of these people?”
We’ve all heard the cliché statement that Social Media is really Anti-Social Media. But that isn’t true. People that are truly antisocial look to retract from others, whereas most folks utilizing social media now a days are doing so because they are trying to reach people; they simply don’t know how, and in some cases, don’t know why. Quite honestly, if you wanted to give the current status of our current digital media age an accurate name, it would be Wet Noodle Media, because most of us are just throwing things out there hoping they will stick. But stick to who? And for what reason?
We are social creatures by nature, so it is only logical that we all want to connect. The issue we run into with the New Media, is that the HOW we connect is happening exponentially faster than the WHY. Why are we connecting with people, why are they connecting with us, and is it real or is it fake?
Look how God built us. Our normal social interactions are designed to be very PURPOSE driven. We interact to get our Sausage McMuffin and coffee to feed our belly, we interact with our neighbors as we ask them to stop being so anally retentive about their lawn because it makes our lawn look bad, we interact with the opposite sex for, well, other reasons. But there is a PURPOSE to what we do, and we are typically making a simultaneous and mutually beneficial connection with the other person. When I email a client about a project that I am working on for them there is a purpose. I am approaching them with a real question, opportunity, or concern that they know I specifically need their interaction on. There is no noise. There are no false pretenses. There are no surveys, Memes, or idle insistences for me to share something on my time line to prove that I am faithful to God. It is a legitimate purpose, and it is unmistakably meant for the two of us to discuss. It’s real!
So in a sea of options for creating digital relationships, how do we know who is trying to make a legitimate relationship, and who is just faking it? Listen, we live in a world of blinking lights and hype, I get it. Sometimes you have to throw out the quick Product Push, Want Ad, or clever video to get people’s attention. Guilty, I do it. But if we are looking at social media for the purpose of building a legitimate network, what do we look for in those relationships, and how do we strengthen them?
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Is the Content Original?
Pat Giammarco, digital technology coach and owner of PWG Marketing in Ohio, coaches his clients on this very topic all the time. Is the content fresh, is it relevant? Does it demonstrate true knowledge of the industry? As our digital world becomes more and more cluttered with noise and retweets, people want to hear original insights from trained professionals who can help them solve their pains. They want to know the source, so that when the information proves accurate, they can know specifically who to look to again to build a trusting relationship.
Know Why You’re Connecting!
We have all been raised in this digital age that more LIKES and Followers means its better. In one respect, having a broad audience to communicate to and to gather information from can definitely have its advantages. That said, take the time on occasion to go through your network and ask yourself, “Why am I connected to this person”? If you can answer the question; “I am trying to build a larger audience with real estate agents”, or “These are all small business owners that I am going to reach out to in the next six months”, then perhaps it’s a legit position, at least for the moment. But, if you don’t know why you are connected to someone, and quite honestly don’t remember how you ever connected in the first place, perhaps this may be the time when the Unfollow button comes into play. If you want to build real relationships, even real-digital relationships, you need to know why you are connected.
Are They Coffee Worthy?
Here is the test; is this person in your network coffee worthy? Is it someone that you would feel comfortable contacting via email, instant message, phone, and suggesting that you schedule some time to meet? If networking is your goal, which is the ultimate goal of social media, then it stands to reason that your true goal at some point is to build a sincere relationship with this person, even if only on a casual basis. Narrowing down your reasons for why you are connected to someone, as mentioned in the previous section, is the first step to getting you to this step, building a real human relationship! If you have been successful in narrowing it down, then it becomes instantly clearer to you how you and the other person in your digital network could stand to benefit from having a purposeful relationship with one another. So be the bold one, take time to reach out to these people for the first time, a couple times a quarter or half year, and meet for no other reason than just to get to know each other better. What can it hurt? If after meeting you find out the coffee was better than the conversation, well then hey, at least you had coffee.
Are They Worth Networking With Permanently?
You met, coffee was good, you have shared interests, clients, market segments, whatever… now how do you put it to use? Before going on any further from this point, you really need to ask yourself, "Is this a good person?" Are they honest, do they demonstrate integrity? Did they just go along agreeing with whatever you said, or did they have the courage to politely disagree with you on some things? Now is the time to really ask yourself if this person is a good person? Not perfect, none of us are perfect. But are they an honest to goodness good person that you think would do the right thing for you, and seems to trust you would do the right thing for them? (FYI, you need to be a good person too!) If so, congratulations, you have a match! Begin building your real personal network referral group, between the two of you, and in time with others you know. Stay in contact, share leads, and perhaps invite them to join, or you to join, a networking group either of you may be members. I personally benefit from the fantastic relationships that I have fostered in my BNI (Business Networking International) Profit Partners Chapter, here in Sylvania, Ohio.
Summing it up; Don’t be a faker!! If you really want to network and build relationships that can help you grow your business, your health, your life and your happiness, put some effort into it. Sometimes less is more, yes, and sometimes more is better. But before you click the Connect or Unfriend button next time, think to yourself, “Do I have a relationship with this person, and if not, why not?”