I had an interesting experience the other evening. I had given a talk on the effectiveness, usefulness (or wastefulness) of Social Media to a rather sophisticated crowd of about 45 people. When polled as to what social media tool they use most often for their business their answer was LinkedIn. More than ¾ of the room raised their hand when asked if they would like a session on how to better use LinkedIn for their business.
Interesting… Here was a group of 45 people who wanted to “connect” on LinkedIn. What I’ve found in my years of experience, is that there is no replacement for in-person human interaction. The fact that there were 45+ members in a room was an indication of the need and desire to connect. Let’s face it – everyone at the meeting had some sort of agenda and I don’t mean this in a negative way. There were people in transition, publishing books, looking for affirmation of an idea, launching a business, etc. If the members of the group had introduced themselves and honestly shared the reasons why they were there, then the exchange of information and networking would have occurred naturally. The members would have greatly benefited. In this instance, the use of LinkedIn would be in support of the formation of the group, not the other way around. There truly is no replacement for human contact or IRL (in real life) communication.