There's Nothing Like Pressing The Flesh

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One of the real ways to get ahead in these online channels is to take things offline. To meet people in their protein forms. To share, to learn, to build and to grow. Never forget that.

There are still many brands that believe these online channels and platforms are filled with very lonely individuals who spend their time stealing music and illegally downloading Hollywood blockbuster movies while playing Warlocks in massively multiplayer online role-playing games. People who could never really influence anybody, let alone get a date. Those who are engaged online or those who take the time to scratch beneath the surface (just a little bit) know that those who think like that are actually the same people who are online. The demographics and psychographics are there. Almost everybody that any Marketer would like to reach has a significant online audience online, and they’re not just lurking either – we’re talking about very active participation and serious communities.

How do you really grow and make these online channels work for you?

Get out into the wild. Meet those you have met online and connected with for a coffee, invite them to lunch or – better yet – create a meet-up, unconference, tweet-up or attend an old-fashioned traditional convention. Not that connecting on Facebook or LinkedIn isn’t "real", but nothing beats a real world meet-up. Always remember that you can’t read body language online, and then there’s that old saying that, "words account for only 7% of all communication."

Online social networks are not a substitute for pressing flesh.

They are an added component of relationships that allow you to keep those connections going during times when you can’t meet in person. Never forget that.

Here are three immediate opportunities to connect: There is a PodCamp Montreal happening this weekend. The good folks over at Mesh have created Mesh Marketing, which is taking place in Toronto on October 22nd, 2009. It’s also Advertising Week in New York City from September 21st – 25th, 2009. Beyond that, there are plenty of other opportunities happening in the next little while to make your online social networks really come to life. Now it’s your turn to make them work for you by getting out there and meeting other like-minded individuals.

What are you waiting for?


  1. So true!! best way to get an ROI from your connections is to lookem in the eye… and listen and understand how you can add value to each other!
    Best way is to have a regular barbecue/networking evening..

  2. Totally agree Mitch. Social means people.
    And people are best meet in the flesh (well I can think of some exceptions..)
    Recently spent a week in Toronto meeting about 40 people I meet online via FB, Twitter, etc.
    Most people are the real deal but one was a horrible misrepresentation of a human, I’m thinking barracuda on legs would be a compliment. I never would have known this had I never met in person. Bad decisions could easily be made.
    Virtual is necessity, and sometimes it’s all we can have, but if you CAN take it outside, do it.
    I don’t think we are quite ready to live lives solely via avatars.
    An electronic handshake or hug is the same as the real deal.

  3. Agree 100% – I see the SM tools as a way to energize the space/time between F2F – not take it’s place. F2F is more productive when some of the social friction is removed via technology.

  4. Listened to your interview on CBC Montreal this morning and as someone just bitten by the Social Media bug, I found your discussion very motivating.
    I don’t have a marketing background. In my recent experiences of trying to address the “why” with Pr/Marketing professionals, I have come to the conclusion that there must be a large parentage of them that see social media as another advertising venue. They hear the cliché that social media is all about the social, but I sense they have difficulty understanding that their goal of increasing brand recognition and loyalty has more to do with interpersonal relationships than service/client communication.
    Agree with you on this particular post that true relationships are built on more than words and pixel images. Thanks.

  5. I love the idea of these conferences, and I was on the fence for going to Mesh.
    What holds me back, since you’re asking, is that this is all so new to me that it’s a little overwhelming.
    But then I guess that’s the whole point.

  6. How true. Even if you have a million ‘friends’ unless you meet them you really don’t get them. We almost all interact with a relatively small number of people within a relatively small distance on a day to day basis. Meeting the people I have ‘met’ online has always given an extra dimension and understanding.

  7. Completely agree…
    The web gives us the tools and ability to self-organise to create real world OFF-LINE change.
    Think about the democratisation of information which can empower us as global citizens and consumers to understand the impact of our decisions.
    I have blogged about this topic and have provided a lot of examples of people using the web to connect in the flesh and make a difference on the world:

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