Facebook is celebrating its 12th birthday by showcasing the importance of friendship. Personalized Friends Day videos were sent to millions of people around the world so they could share special moments with their friends.
Worldwide, there are more than 1.55 billion monthly active Facebook users, which represents a 14 percent increase from the previous year (Source: Facebook as of 9/30/15). Those billions of users are building a network of “friends” and the average American spends 40 minutes a day liking, sharing, and posting. (Source: SproutSocial 6/20/15)
Social media has created a new form of “networking” but has it replaced the importance of “relationship building?” There is a difference.
Networking is a quick process while relationship building takes time—sometime years to develop. It is those individuals who come into your life, maybe through school, work, or community events. They play a role, sometimes for a short period, often, if we are lucky they remain a part of our lives for many years. It is those relationships that sustain us far past the likes and shares. It is those relationships that help us celebrate victories and encourage and support us when we face trials.
Social media is an excellent tool that helps us stay connected and informed. However, face-to-face conversations should not be replaced by a post, tweet, or text. Sharing a cup of coffee (or for me a cup of tea) is where real conversations take place.
In business, as you are developing your marketing plan, don’t forget to include the human element. Your editorial calendar will define topics and times for posting, but don’t leave out time for one-on-one interaction—a phone call (no text), a cup of coffee, lunch or dinner to reconnect or build new relationships.