Will Social Media Replace Face-to-Face Networking?

938 reads

I love social media.  I am active on social media. I have found that social media is fantastic for ‘brand building’ – and Ialso believe that social media will not replace all marketing efforts for most entrepreneurs and sales people.   In fact, for many businesses, it just does not generate a large percentage of their new business.  

I know, I know, there are people out there right now that are officially apoplectic.  Take a deep breath.  Know that I love you and Ilove social media.  It has been a fantastic tool for me to retain my audience and keep them engaged.  It has been great as a brand builder.  I’ve also seen the marketing data and it is sobering.

Here’s a great example.  In 2011, the Freelance Industry Report did a very thorough survey of the industry.  One of the many questions they asked was “What has been your most effective method for finding and landing clients…?”  Four of the top five answers were all networking related (Word of mouth, Referrals, Personal/Professional network, Local networking).  These added up to 69.5% of all business development for the respondents.  Social media ranked as #8 with only 2.8%.   But wait, that’s not the most amazing thing.  When asked, “which… marketing methods are you planning on spending more time and resources on in the next 12 months,” Social media ranked #1 with 46.1%!

But wait, that’s still not the most amazing thing about this story.  You see, when the 2012 report came out, the networking related choices for how respondents actually generated their business that year, now moved up to 74.3%!  But where was social media you ask?  Well with all their commitment to focus more time and resources on social media, the report found that the respondents had moved the needle to 2.8%... oh wait, it was 2.8% in the previous year!  So here’s the most amazing part of the story: despite their commitment to put more time and resources on social media to generate their new business the following year, the respondents actually did not move the needle at all.  Zero.  Zip. Nada. 

And now the really crazy thing – in 2012, 42.8% of the respondents said that next year they were going to focus more on – you got it, social media again!  There’s a saying for this: What’s the definition of insanity? Doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

In two separate reports, these business professionals were generating 70% or more of their business from networking related activities.  They generated less than 3% from social media.  Don’t you think that it would be a good idea to increase their networking efforts as well?  I do.  That’s one of the reasons I keep writing books on the topic.  The data speaks for itself.  Networking is a great way to build your business.  It is not the only way, but it is still among the very best.  Why not spend more time honing that skill?  I’m just saying.

Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author.  He is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI (www.bni.com), the world’s largest business networking organization.  His new book, Avoiding the Networking Disconnectcan be viewed at Amazon.com

Trending

100
vnbhattacharya's picture

NARCOS and the game beyond the game

A critical aspect of strategic thinking is the ability to determine one's strategy in the game at hand by anticipating games in the future. It is especially important to foresee games that may be spawned by playing the game one is offered now.Such
79
sethgodin's picture

Big crew/little crew

Software projects work better with small teams. On the other hand, it makes sense to have multiple teams of workers if you're paving a patch of highly trafficked highway. Three reasons: Coordination Learning Ramp up time As we learned from... 
69
johnsullivan's picture

You’ll Soon Need a Digital Labor Specialist and a Workforce Shaper

Not all your employees will be replaced by robots, but it’s highly likely they’ll be working side-by-side with an automated device at some point in their careers. As intelligent automation becomes more common in the workplace, businesses are
60
mashable's picture

These extremely good Google Maps features that everyone definitely wanted are finally sort of available

For all of you who've been holding your breath this past month, it's finally time to exhale: On Tuesday, Google rolled out some of the hotly anticipated new Maps features the company announced in May. And by "rolled out," we mean "some people
126
johnsullivan's picture

Ready or Not Here Comes Generation Thumb

Talking about millennials in the workforce is so yesterday. Time now to start preparing for Gen Z, or, as Chad Norman calls them, Generation Thumb. This is the generation born after the turn of the century. They’ve never known a...
132
harvardbusinessreview's picture

When India Killed Off Cash Overnight

Bhaskar Chakravorti, the dean of global business at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, analyzes the economic impact of India’s unprecedented demonetization move in 2016. With no advance warning, India pulled the two largest banknotes from
112
sethgodin's picture

The jerk fallacy

There’s a common misperception, particularly in media, business and politics, that being a jerk is a necessary ingredient on the way to becoming and staying successful. But there’s no data to support this. Sure, some people succeed despite being
168
johnsullivan's picture

New to the Profession of Recruiting? Time to Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

If you’re a seasoned and successful recruiter, chances are you have fine-tuned your skills over the years by going through a gauntlet of stressful, maddening, or even downright demoralizing work days. Most of my fellow recruiters and sourcing
187
cryptocurrency's picture

Jack Ma: Bitcoin Bubble is Real and Blockchain is the Future

 Jack Ma Bitcoin Bubble: Yet another well-known figure has come forward to express his thoughts on the cryptocurrency sector. The figure, who is Jack Ma, spoke specifically of Bitcoin (BTC) — and his thoughts weren’t exactly in favor of