Monday, November 28, 2011

Social Media: A tool to enhance your network or Avoid Rejection

This week's question garnered some fantastic responses from across the legal community. My original draft of this posting included many of these great insights, however two comments in particular seemed to capture the conflicting motivations for jumping on the social media bandwagon so well that I have tossed the rest. I encourage you to join the conversation and look forward to your comments and thoughts on the following arguments for the emphasis on social media in your business development.

Does the virtual world of networking impact one's ability (think skill set) to network face-to-face?

Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. • Managing Partner, Katzman Garfinkel & Berger @CondoandHOALaw  
If used to the exclusion of personal contact, then yes, total reliance on Social Media could very well weaken your ability to network effectively when other forums become necessary. However, when used in conjunction with more traditional meetings, events, seminars, etc., "knowing" someone even if just by name and dialogue through LI and other Social Media sites can be a really effective ice-breaker. Haven't we all experienced awkward networking events years ago where you scanned the room to see if there was anyone you knew or a group you could join in discussion? These days, most folks "know" each other at least in name thanks to Social Media which makes traditional networking a much more comfortable experience.

Josh Kotler • Owner at Western Digitech, Inc.  @Josh_Kotler
There is little doubt that it does. Networking is really about business development, which is ultimately geared toward selling your professional service. This type of selling is a very personal process, or at least it should be. Networking, and the selling that it ideally develops into, brings with it a certain amount of rejection which can be hard to handle for many people. Social media networking is less personal and therefore involves less emotional risk. So people over-utilize it to avoid a more personal form of rejection. The net result is that they often fail to make the personal connection that enables trust, which enables a professional business relationship to take root. Virtual networking is a good way to create credibility and to reinforce your other efforts, but selling professional relationships has to get personal at some point. You have to put yourself out there take some risks!
Do you think most people in careers that traditionally included networking are jumping on the social media bandwagon to enhance their effectiveness or avoid rejection?

Post your thoughtful responses for possible inclusion in next week's Blog:


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