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Social media, blogs and other digital channels continue to connect more seamlessly to offline channels. That’s especially true for brands and people who use social media and offline in an effective and meaningful way.
People offline expand on snippets they read on Facebook and other social networks. Sometimes, people expand on updates they’ve heard about from others who’ve seen them on a social network. Facebook, Twitter, etc., are around us, even for those people who aren’t on them personally or who aren’t using them very actively.
We feel more connected to the people who share relevant content to us on social media when we run into them offline. Even though we may not have seen them in awhile, we know what they’ve been up to, where they’ve traveled and how they kids look. There is a connection.
Sharing information on social networks can help people
While offline content and connections move offline, it also goes the other way.
Offline question: “Are you on LinkedIn? Can we connect there?”
People were saying their goodbyes at the end of social event I attended in 2013.
“It was great to meet you,” one person said. “Are you on LinkedIn? Can we connect there?”
Some said “yes, sure. Thanks for asking.” At least one person asked what LinkedIn is, which prompted a discussion on the business-focused social network.
I thought the initial question was great because:
- It raised awareness of the network.
- It made the social connection more explicit. Yes, let’s connect. I routinely connect with new people I meet but this initial offline exchange adds another layer to the relationship. You agree to connect online while still offline.
Have you noticed that social networks are showing up more and more in offline conversations?
We viewed each other’s LinkedIn Profile
This is from an actual conversation.
“Have we met each other before?”
“No, but we viewed each other’s LinkedIn profiles.” (LinkedIn shows you the names of people who viewed your profile.)
“Oh, yes. Nice to meet you.”
We decided that we should connect.
Are you Instagramming?
I was waiting in line at a business’ drive-through and took a picture of the building. Why? To put it on Foursquare.
When I pulled up the employee asked: “Were you Instagramming?”
I asked what made her think of that.
“Isn’t Instagram for photos?” she responded.
Social media networks mentioned in many places
Everyone works in Twitter’s and Facebook’s marketing departments nowadays it seems.
I get a handful of emails each week from businesses (grocery stores, hairstylists, etc.). Many say: Look us up on Twitter. Become our friend on Facebook for some deals and so on.
I see it on TV commercials, too. The little F or T is in the corner of the screen. How genius, right? Everyone is pushing for the networks.
What’s next? NFL players with their Twitter handles on the back of their jerseys instead of their names?
Writing that last sentence reminded me that several in offline/real-world interaction have called me “ctrappe” (my Twitter name).
It didn’t even feel that strange.
Personally, I use both Twitter and Facebook.
I’ve used Facebook to interview folks, set up meetings, negotiate job opportunities and coordinate dinner plans with my wife and others, but giving them free advertising? I don’t know. What do you think?
Social media wrap
As storytellers, a seamless offline and online experience can be beneficial. We can share tidbits of our stories online, blog about them and then continue the discussion offline.
It can help us make our storytelling stronger and our connections more meaningful.
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