One of the most interesting things about eConsultancy’s JUMP event earlier this month was the repeated idea that what social media has done is to take a lot of communications offline, that start online.
People are inherently social animals – which is why we want to share experiences, thoughts, ideas and random trivia with all and sundry, over Facebook, Twitter or review sites. So it follows that we don’t want to shut ourselves off, hiding behind a screen (well, sometimes we do – working from home with a stinking cold, in pyjamas, for example, but you get my drift).
Sometimes, we want to meet the people we’ve talked to online. A few years ago, that was the domain of internet dating sites, rather than business. But these days it’s as common to go to an event and recognise people from their Twitter avatars, as it is to see people we’ve met in person before. Twitter is a godsend to me; the kind of ‘networking’ events that I used to loathe, I now look forward to: I get to put a face to an avatar, and talk to people with whom I already have some sort of relationship.
People want to meet up. Particularly with people with whom they have a shared interest. The lesson for businesses? Being social isn’t just about media.