Real world social networking is no longer perhaps the fashionable thing, since the rise of social media. But the benefits of face-to-face contact with people means, that it can never really be replaced. Twitter and Facebook are becoming ever more important tools for businesses to communicate with their target markets and keep on top of competitors, but can these mediums ever really rival human contact?
Business clusters, or business parks – where companies working in the same field are situated in the same area – show the importance of real world social networking. The most famous example of this is perhaps Silicon Valley, which is home to many of the world’s largest and most influential technology centres. Working in an environment dedicated to the field has helped entrepreneurs thrive in the area and has led to the creation of many new businesses.
In the UK we have the lesser known Silicon Roundabout, an area just off Old Street in London, whose cheap rents and fashionable underground lifestyle originally attracted a young tech crowd in the early 2000s. Now, it is the technology hub of the moment.
Real world social networking in these business clusters is said to have three major benefits:
it increases productivity;
it drives innovation due to the heightened competitive environment;
it creates new business in the area,
Although modern society has embraced social media, we still need to realise the importance of real world networking, and make a conscious effort to build face-to-face relationships with as many of our fellow human beings as possible. Simple things like hearing someone’s voice and looking them in the eye, gives us a sense of who they are and allow for relationships to develop based on trust and mutual understanding, which is much more difficult to achieve through more impersonal mediums.
Email and social networking sites, although great for reaching a wide audience, are not as influential or effective as face-to-face meetings. Emails can be considered spam and business cards discarded, but a face is much more difficult to forget.
Real world social networking gives one the opportunity to showcase what humans are naturally good at, relationships.