Using social media is, surprisingly, allowing me to sharpen my networking skills in real life. Here’s an example:
We all see them. You know, those social misfits whose first-ever tweets are sales pitches. They don’t take the time to develop a following. They don’t seek out and engage in interesting conversations already happening online. They just jump in and start using twitter as a sales tool. Luckily, most of these types don’t stay around for long. They drop off the twittersphere quickly, deeming social media “a waste of time.”
When I witness these users (or abusers), I recall the old saying: “Dig the well before you need the water.” Digging that well, i.e., cultivating a following and establishing trust, requires time, energy and patience. But, it is only after that digging that we’re able to establish real relationships with real people.
I find myself taking what I learn on twitter and applying it in real life. This is the opposite of what I might have guessed would happen when I first began using social media a few years ago.
And, despite the predictions of many naysayers, I find my in-person networking skills improving since becoming a twitter user.
What are your experiences? Do you have similar examples?