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Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Etc.: The Demise Of Human Connections?

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Etc.: The Demise Of Human Connections?

Terry Brock, MBA

Recently I had a talk with a wonderful lady who has been a successful marketer for many years. She was lamenting all the commotion with Twitter, Facebook, Email, LinkedIn and social networking today. She commented that she likes to connect by talking with people on the phone — “real communication” is what she called it.

I understand where she’s coming from and have to agree — partly. Technology can never take the place of true human-to-human communication. I love sitting with friends over a meal, over drinks and sharing about life, business, fun, ideas, concepts and more. “Visiting” is what it is called in the South. “Hanging with your buds” is another way to refer to it.

Relationship Marketing (I like to capitalize those important words!) is the most important activity we can do in business. Connecting with other people is vital. One way to do it is with live, face-to-face meetings. That was the primary way people connected centuries ago. Somewhere around the end of the 1800’s they came up with a new-fangled communication tool called the telephone. I’m sure there were people who said, “Well, if I want to talk with someone I’ll walk or take my horse over to see them. I want a real connection.” They didn’t trust the new-to-them technology of a telephone.

I saw the same thing with email as it emerged a few years ago. Today we have so much of it that we crave short messages. I somehow think Twitter’s 140-character limit is an answer to that.

So, when we see Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking services emerge, does it mean the demise of real human connections?

Not on your life!

Relationship Marketing is about being close to prospects, customers and important stakeholders in business. It is about providing value to the other person. If your Twitter message is nothing more than “I’m getting groceries now,” — shame be upon you! You deserve to be ignored. Instead, pass along information that can be helpful to at least some of your followers. That’s where Twitter really shines.