I had the privilege of attending the inaugural Michiana TweetUp last night. I had an amazing time getting to know some of the 50+ attendees whom I had been conversing with on Twitter. It was the first time I had have had the opportunity to meet most of my local Twitter contacts face-to-face.
I spent most of my time listening and absorbing. Listening to others’ stories. Finding out what people are passionate about and where they are at in their careers and in life.
While I didn’t get a chance to meet everyone (there is always next TweetUp right?) for those I did have a chance to talk with, I felt a deeper, more substantial connection. I feel we have now become friends rather than digital acquaintances. I spent most of my early morning following up with my new friends and checking out their businesses and blogs.
I also feel like since I know my Twitter friends better after meeting them personally, I am much more likely to tell my friends about their business or refer business directly to them.
And there lies a very important truth about the power of social media. As a social media consultant I believe whole-heartedly that connecting with people via social channels is a critical first step. It’s a great way to get the conversation flowing and the communication lines open. However, it can’t replace face-to-face interaction.
Last night’s TweetUp was a great testimonial to the power social media has when it is not used in isolation but rather in combination with more traditional methods. Social media isn’t the be-all-end-all for your business, but rather a tool for you to being to tell your story.
I hope to see you at the next Michiana TweetUp and in the meantime you can read about how to use tweetups as a part of your marketing plan.