With the internet making the world a smaller place, it’s very easy to think that networking can be done through social media and social media alone. However, even with the people you meet on social media, you still need to find a way to have face-to-face meetings. Here’s why face-to-face networking is important.
1. Immediate feedback – If all of your meetings are done through email or on social media, then you don’t get that immediate and direct feedback that you do when you’re face to face. You also can’t tell someone’s tone or demeanor if everything is done through typing. This makes it very easy to misconstrue someone’s intent or what they were saying.
If you are discussing something in person, then the exchange you have will go differently than it will online. There’s more give and take, so to speak. It’s just faster this way.
2. A personal touch – Having those face-to-face meetings are always just going to be more personal and give you a better way to show who you really are. It’s hard to see what someone’s personality is when you can’t actually see them or hear them. If you want your personality to shine, then you need to have those face-to-face meetings.
3. Builds stronger relationships – There needs to be a human connection. It just builds stronger relationships. You can think a person is great when you meet them online, but to actually see them in action and be a part of their energy is a whole other story.
You cannot build a strong relationship with someone if you’ve never spent physical space together. You get to see how they connect with other people as well when you meet with them in person.
4. You can read people – There’s a way that we communicate in person that just cannot be expressed on the internet. You can read someone’s body language; you can pick up on sarcasm better when you can hear the tone of someone’s voice or see their face. You just learn so much about a person by seeing their mannerisms.
5. Avoid misunderstandings – You might think you are being very clear when you communicate on the internet, but how someone else interprets it is a completely different thing. This is why things can get so heated on the internet. They can quickly escalate with a misunderstanding.
When you have face-to-face conversations, you have a better opportunity to explain your position to help people come to an agreement on things. You can specifically tailor your message to the audience of who you are speaking to instead of such a large group of people with wildly different points of view.
Using social media to network is great too, but it’s still important to get out there and make personal connections. Whether it be at local business events or you find ways to link up with your online connections, it’s going to be very important to create face-to-face meetings to strengthen those connections.