It is essential to a personal brand’s success to be active in the social media world. Social media has transformed the way people communicate with each other. People are now spending more and more of their time in different social networking sites, interacting and engaging with other users and brands.
Though you may be able to connect with someone meaningfully through social media, nothing beats connecting with someone in person. Face-to-face meetings continue to be invaluable in helping you form strong personal connections.
Instead of viewing social media as a platform that can take the place of personal meetings, you should start looking at social media as a way to connect with people prior to meeting them in person. It’s a way to interact and engage with them and to help you overcome that first hurdle when you finally meet them face to face.
Now you ask, what is the best social networking site out there that can help you do this? The answer is LinkedIn, of course. Here are the five reasons why:
1. LinkedIn helps you make a good first impression
LinkedIn is known to be the social media networking site for professionals, so most people who use LinkedIn make sure that their profiles there show them at their best. They put up a professional photo, they create a compelling headline, and their work history is presented clearly and neatly for the world to see. They also make sure to link to their blogs or websites, enabling the individuals searching for them to get to know them better.
A person you’re scheduled to meet who visits your LinkedIn profile prior to your meeting would very likely have a good impression of you. This is because your LinkedIn is your professional resume on the web. Can you say the same of your Facebook page or Twitter account?
Imagine the scenario in which a professional contact sees your Facebook account and the last entry on your page includes a photo of you drinking and acting wild (you didn’t upload it – someone tagged you in it). Do you think that would make a good first impression? Your meeting may get off on the wrong foot if the person you’re meeting keeps recalling how you looked while drunk.
2. LinkedIn helps you connect better
If the person you’re meeting face-to-face for the first time is a second or third degree connection on LinkedIn, this knowledge can really help you engage better with that person. Because of the connection, you can ask the person to whom you’re mutually connected to make an introduction, or you can easily introduce yourself beforehand and mention the name of the person you’re both connected to. Once you are able to meet and chat with each other on LinkedIn, it could easily pave the way for a better and more interesting meeting in person.
Think about it: Who would you trust more? A person whom you have a mutual connection with on LinkedIn, or a person who shares a mutual friend with you on Facebook?
3. LinkedIn helps give you authority
Through answering questions and participating in discussions, LinkedIn helps you become known as an expert in your field. As more and more people get to know what you’re about, it really fosters the potential for deeper relationships to be formed when you finally meet face-to-face. You become an authoritative figure in your career, and people you meet in person are more likely to look up to you and listen to what you have to say.
Creating a group is also a great way to connect with people who have similar interests and passions. By being a group’s administrator, you establish yourself as an authoritative figure, and the more popular your group is, the farther your reach. When people come to know you as the leader of the group, this will make it easier to establish better relationships in personal meetings.
In today’s highly digitalized world, many people are forgoing personal meetings; they are instead focusing on connecting with others through social media and other forms of digital communication. But you should always keep in mind that strong personal connections are best formed in person. There are many things that you can discover in a face-to-face meeting that you do not experience in a Skype call or even a teleconference.
Nothing can compare with face-to-face interaction. Social media, however, has made it easier for your first meeting to go smoothly, since you typically discover the other person through their pages and accounts.
LinkedIn continues to be the best way to connect with an individual prior to that first vital meeting. So utilize your LinkedIn wisely, and enjoy forming deeper bonds with the people you meet.