High Tech Requires High Touch
Social Media has certainly risen to the top of the list of hot business topics in the last decade, and is at the forefront of our business consciousness as
we move into the next decade. But, does high tech Social Media really deliver the same results as a warm handshake and face-to-face discussion
with your contacts? In terms of developing real business, real relationships and real referrals, has Social Media replaced face-to-face networking?
When it comes to networking and referrals, no one knows more than Victoria Trafton of the Referral Institute, who recommends using a clearly thought
out strategy for social media. "Social Media is a complicated landscape and at times requires an expert to help set up a good strategy to plan and
map interactions." Trafton is an expert in using face-to-face networking to generate business by referrals, and feels that the increase in social media
hasn't replaced "in person" networking, but has instead created a need for increased personal interactions with business contacts. Trafton explains,
"Face-to-face networking has great value in that it delivers authenticity, trust and value. Networking in person creates in-depth, meaningful
relationships, allowing people to connect in a way that Social Media does not. Technology can often be isolating. That is why I believe high tech is
driving the need for high touch through face-to-face networking."
Trafton advocates the Referral Institute's formula of segmenting your face-to face and online networking efforts into three areas: Visibility (V),
Credibility (C) and Profitability (P). The Referral Institute offers workshops based on the VCP ProcessÂ® to help participants create a workable plan
for networking. Clearly, Profitability is the objective for all contacts, and consideration should be given to moving contacts from the Visibility provided
by Social Media to Profitability resulting from personal contacts.
For example: An email newsletter or blog post can provide Visibility, while the co