The other day I was logged into my Twitter account (natively- not through a tool like Hootsuite or Hubspot) and I decided to have a conversation with someone. Someone I had networked with before replied to something I tweeted on the tweeter. I thought to myself, wow, I have a chance to engage in a conversation. I remember when I first set up my Twitter account in 2007. I used to have all kinds of conversations and I used to meet lots of new people. Well, these days we just auto-publish droves of information that hopefully people click on, read ,and share. The rest felt like history.
So I decided to go down this road with a conversation. I replied back. It was a humorous reply to me, so I hit back with a little humor myself. A couple jokes led to a conversation about business. How are things going for you? Are you still doing _________? Are you still over at ____________? The next thing you know we started sending a couple DM’s about how we might work together a bit in the future. I realized how naturally a conversation in social media can turn into a sales call, a recruiting opportunity, or relationship with a new vendor. And sometimes, it just turns into a new friend. Sure, call them whatever you like, a follower, a connection, a like, but they are still a new friend.
This is where social media started, didn’t it?
It started back with a chance to have infinitely more conversations than were possible in a normal non-social setting. There was Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and then Instagram. People could find lost acquaintances, reconnect with high school mates (Aussie much), and easily make new friends at an event with the click of a button. We could now come back from a conference, a meeting, or a networking breakfast and go make connections with those we just met. It made business cards less important, that’s for sure.
So what has happened to this great new world we had at our fingertips? It’s gotten completely away from conversations and onto streams of content. Not many people are talking (aside from sports and politics). Most people are just sharing. What a pity.
Let’s you and I start the conversations again and make these tools become what they once were, and what they were intended for.