How to Stay in Touch with the Real World

Yesterday, I said today's topic would be how to do social networking while still keeping in touch with the real world. How ironic that I am sitting here in person with my friend Melaney Shaum and both of us are talking about social networking, while each of us is looking at a different computer. Like I've said before, social networking sure makes it complicated to explain how you know people.

We've been talking about how to best put the platform of social media to use, both personally and in business.

The bottom line of how to use it is: the same way you use in-person networking. As a way to find, develop, and grow relationships.

But here are some specific recommendations:
  • Focus on just a few sites and then tie them together to save time.
  • Limit the time you spend and concentrate it (during business hours) on the people who can help your business the most.
  • Have a policy for each site. For example, will you connect with anyone who asks? What will you do with the people you're connected with? Who are you going to spend your time on? Is it business or personal?
  • Get together in person. Not only is it okay, it should be your goal to meet as many of your "online" friends as possible.
Now, if your policy is to connect only with people you already know, you are going to limit yourself. I have heard it said that LinkedIn is for people you do know and that Twitter is for people you want to know. So connect online with people you would like to know (on Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn) and work on meeting them in person.

Tomorrow: HOW to meet people from the online world in person.

P.S. If you know Melaney, but you're not connected to her on LinkedIn or Facebook, visit my profiles ( and and you'll find her.

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