I have 1,276 friends…on Facebook that is. No one can question the website’s influence. It’s a great way to catch up with old friends, form relationships with new ones and stay on top of what’s going on with loved ones. Many, myself included, also find it a promising tool to help promote their business and instigate conversations amongst constituents within seconds. However, sometimes I have to ask myself if this social network is truly social.
All these new gadgets and communication tools enable us to stay better connected, but just how deep is this new connection? We know updates and statuses, but do we really know what’s going on with our contacts? Do we know their needs, do they know ours and, most importantly, do we really know how to help one another? The goal of business is to bring value, yet we can’t deliver that unless we place value on our relationships first.
Indeed, social networking is certainly a piece of the puzzle to keeping ourselves and our companies top-of-mind, but it can’t replace the impact of traditional networking. Oh, we post, Tweet and e-vite here at the Miami Beach Chamber, but our most important initiative is creating events and initiatives that bring people together face-to-face. It’s about making quality introductions to your next customer, your next supplier, your next advocate. I encourage you to become more involved, not as merely a Miami Beach Chamber member, but as a partner. Join one of the many councils, committees or activities, all of which offer numerous opportunities for collaboration and a common ground for community building. Attend the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce New Members Orientation, or simply bond over good food and beverage at one of the luncheons or cocktail hours. I assure you that replacing some of your typeface communication with face-to-face interaction will prove to be your greatest business investment. So, what are you waiting for…friend me!
At your service,
Chairman of the Board, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.