The other day, I was traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and I finally understood the amazing impact of social media.
I find that I meet so many business contacts on airplanes, at bus stops, on trains, etc. How do you maximize your interactions within such a short window of time?
Let’s use the analogy of a five-course meal, because let’s face it: it’s the only kind worth having.
This is that awkward moment when you’re sitting before the airplane takes off. You’re surveying the landscape. You look at who is sitting around you and scope out potential connections. If there’s a baby nearby, you know you’re in for a fun flight…
Here’s where you smile at the person next to you. If they smile back, you introduce yourself, “Hi, my name is Jessica. What’s yours?” Simple. Casual. At least you’re not complete strangers now. There’s a flight announcement letting you know it’s safe to turn on your electronic devices. Two hours until landing.
If you’re going to get to know anyone, here’s where you’ll start. You glance over and notice the person next to you typing up some kind of agenda. You nod in the direction of the screen and say, “—That for work?” One hour until landing.
This is where the bulk of your conversation takes place. You talk about the purpose of your trip, the nature of your work, your family, your friends… You may find you have some similarities. You may find you even work in the same fields. “No kidding! You were at that convention last year too?” You start breaking down the projects you’re working on and you realize that the person next to you could become a valuable partner in your next initiative. The wheels are turning… Thirty minutes until landing.
You’ve landed. The plane is taxiing. You’re informed that you’ll be able to get off the plane shortly. There’s a flight announcement. You are now able to take your cell phone off “Airplane Mode” and… BOOM. Here’s where it all happens. Your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn—anything you can think of to connect with—is exchanged. You start looking at each other’s digital portfolios and company websites. This whole exchange happens in five minutes or less while you’re scrambling to get your carry-on from the overhead bin.
This is why social media is magic: because in your entire two-hour flight, the last five minutes are where you got the most important information.
By using social media, you can market yourself in less than thirty seconds.
Everyone knows dessert is the best course.
How much of your personality and how many of your greatest strengths are apparent on your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn…?
Does your business have a strong social media presence?
Would you want to do business with yourself based on what you see?