So many people never actually meet, much less get to know, the people they are connected with through social media. I am no exception, but as of late, I have been conducting my own social experiment based on actually talking to and meeting some of the people that I am connected with online. (Don’t worry, I am doing this safely).
In particular, I am taking the time to talk to and meet some of the people who really take the time to engage with me, whether through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, this blog, etc. And, as a result, I have found a few kindred spirits.
Anh Nguyen is one of those people. You may recall one of my recent posts entitled: “The Magic of Social Media,” in which I described an event I attended that had sparked a tweet-off between me and a handful of the other attendees. Anh was one of those tweeters, and our social media engagement didn’t end there; it began there! We have continued to socialize online and suggest groups and followers to each other, as well as suggesting each other to our own followers.
This had worked very well, so a couple of weeks ago, we decided to take it off-line and scheduled a meeting at Starbucks.
Here’s how our meeting went…
After the initial niceties, we quickly uncovered the small world that is Houston, Texas and all of the people, organizations and companies we knew in common. We had been involved in several similar circles for many years and were amazed at how such a seemingly random connection had revealed a multitude of similar experiences and somewhat parallel career goals.
Anh also shared with me that she too wanted to meet more people off-line. She said, “It’s great to meet people off-line that I have gotten to know online.” Few people actually do that, and we were both on the same page about how cool it was to have set up our meeting. It was an instant success!
As our conversation went on, Anh shared some different tweetups that she has been active in, and suggested that I join in on a few of them and see what I think. Admittedly, I haven’t yet done so, but I definitely intend to! Soon…
Anyway, we talked a lot about social media, and how it has been so instrumental in developing strong professional relationships on a more personal level. We also talked about the impact that all of this has had on our own personal brands, and the success that we have each enjoyed as a result.
Since our meeting, we have also tried to send new business opportunities to each other, and have continued to foster our connection both on and off-line. It will be interesting to see what the future holds now that we have taken the extra step of connecting off-line. It has certainly added a significant additional layer to what could have been a somewhat superficial online only connection.
As I continue to conduct my social experiment in taking the social media experience off-line, I encourage you to do the same, but of course in a very controlled safe way. And if you do, please come back and tell me how it went.
Oh yeah, let me explain about the completely unrelated photo at the top of this post. I wrote this in Carlsbad, CA over the weekend, and this is one of the few photos I took while I was there.
(Teaser: Next post will be about my recent California misadventure, so be sure and subscribe to my blog or come back soon to read all about it!)