Social Networking is a means… Not the end
Part of me wants to ask, “Oh? So you don’t use telephones either? Or email? Or even hand-written letters??” None of those are “real” connections. But, they do have a point.
Too often, I see people confuse the “ends” and the “means” with social networking sites. Many people have, in some ways, become more disconnected the more connected they become.
Some people have asked me why I’m not “maxed out” on my friends after five years on facebook. Considering that I’ve spoken in front of thousands of people, and over 50,000 people have read my books, it should have hit 5,000 years ago, according to them.
The answer is, I’m selective. I currently have 55 friend recommendations and eight pending friend requests just from today. I will not accept any of them until I screen them to be sure I want to develop a relationship with them.
Connections on facebook are not relationships, just as an entry in your phone list is not a relationship. They are a tool. One possible mean to an end.
Many marketers tell me they don’t “waste their time” on social networks, because, “you can’t make money there.” That’s true for them because they put all their energy into selling, and not into cultivating relationships.
I have been slowly abandoning all other forms of advertising and marketing in favor of social media because, slowly but surely, it is becoming one of the most reliable and flexible means of creating relationships. And these days, people buy most from those they have a real relationship with.
Your number of connections, number of posts, edgerank and other silly metrics are not a definition of your true social relationships, and never will be.
Leverage the tool, but don’t rely on it to do the work for you. Spend some time developing real relationships — both online and off — by being interested in others, helping those who need it, and connecting and interacting with heart and you’ll find social networking helps to crete deep, meaningful relationships that can last a lifetime.
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