One of the reasons I love social media is that it allows me to connect to people around the world. Social media gives me the ability to learn from and share with people I may not have the opportunity to meet any other way.
Recently, I met a man on Twitter who teaches leadership at the Naval Academy. In 140 character messages, we chatted about leadership learning and curriculum choices.
I love the way these relationships can build serendipitously.
A friend introduces me to another friend, and I discover common interests. Or I make an introduction through social media and later discover real life connections between those friends.
Social media is like real life, only faster. People can be brought together with only a few key strokes.
Leaders who want to build connections with people would be wise to invest time in social media as a tool for bringing people together.
Leaders who are well connected in the social media world create valuable relationships with people from all across the country and around the world. Need a friend in Minneapolis? I have a few. Need a contact in Washington, DC? I can help with that. France? Mexico? India? No problem.
Leaders who are well connected in the social media world have access to a community of experts. With only a few key strokes, I can call on the wisdom of people from every educational background imaginable. I know people who are leaders in a variety of industries and career fields. And, if I need to make a connection with someone, I know that others in the community will help me with an introduction.
Leaders who are well connected in the social media world can help others get connected, too. In my opinion, the best thrill in social media comes from bringing others together. I love making an introduction that makes a difference.
Join the conversation!
In what ways have you used social media to build connections?
What introductions have you made that make a difference?
This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Becky, what a wonderful topic this is. I hope you generate a lot of discussion.
Thank you for referencing me as your “real life” example. For well over 7 years I’ve been on networks like LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc but my recent experience with twitter has without a doubt been the best “connecting” tool at our disposal.
I’m thankful for the connection we’ve created and look forward to building more relationships.
Thanks for the mention! 🙂 I always enjoy your posts and conversations with you are exciting and so great for reflection. You know, Becky, it doesn’t seem that way at first, but you can create truly meaningful relationships by beginning in Social Media and then extending into other ways of communicating. The social media revolution is here and it means that the potential to connect with people you would never in your lifetime have met (like you mention here, from around the world for example) exists! So, the likelihood of finding kindred spirits, people interested in your work, people with the expertise you are looking for from a pool as big as say Twitter or LinkedIN, is expanded greatly. People ask me if they need a strategy. Yes! It is this: be authentic. Tweet about what you believe in, what you stand for. Link in with people over the issues important to your work. Answer questions, be generous. The rest will unfold.
I second that Monica – the only way to build great relationship (online or offline) is to be authentic.
Becky – Thanks for the mention and I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful leadership community and have friends like you.
Your post mentions leaders, but the same benefits can accrue to any of us. The net has given us the ability to connect with people who are separated from us by time or geography. Social media allow us to connect to others’ own networks, as well as “trusted sources.”
I think that social media will be one of the forces driving change in the way we lead. They allow us the ability to connect easily to people and their knowledge and relationships. That makes a variety of collaborations possible. We’re learning as we go.
Becky, thanks for the link (again!). You’ve come as close as possible to describing the benefits of social media (and I agree, Twitter has been huge for me)that are hard to describe to those who don’t (or refuse) to engage in it.
Wally, for the record, you are a leader too. (’nuff said). And you, Becky, Steve, Monica and Tanmay are some of the people I feel blessed to have connected with through social media.
Kind of fun knowing the backstory behind the post.
I totally agree. In fact, most of the people who commented are those I am beginning to grow these same relationships with. It’s amazing what technology does.
Lots of people, lots of tools, and lots of ways to learn and engage. What I’ve found to be invaluable for the many who are still thinking about engaging in SM is to find discussions, such as this one, then read and provide comments. The keystrokes can apply at any point of a conversation, and the more authentic replies one bravely contributes, the braver they become in starting their own conversation of value. I cannot begin to count the awesome people I’ve discovered through SM. Like you, I find tremendous reward in connecting people to people. I found you through my very good friend Bret Simmons, and life is great with the discovery of valuable virtual communities!
Thanks so much for joining the conversation here. I appreciate your added insight about authentic conversation. I look forward to getting to know you better and am thankful to Dr. Bret for the introduction.