Back here in the real world, void of analytics, there is a powerful social networking device sitting on your desk, gathering guilt. It is not sexy, it does not have applied metrics, charts, usage patterns or pictures of your kids.
It's that stack of business cards you have collected during the past years of your career.
Getting a business card is a positive, selective act. It's not "friends of friends." That person gave you a card to do business. They didn't give it to get you off their back or to be polite, they gave it to you to do business. The people who didn't want to do business said, "I'm sorry I forgot to bring my cards."
The card comes with a logo. That means all the people who work at that logo are linked to you. And you have been "validated" because one of their own gave you the card. It isn't something that has to be processed through Paypal. You therefore have an excuse, an entre to call everyone in that company.
It has been my experience that while many social networking sites, including the ones with a business slant are very good for high school reunions, not good for business.
THE ILLUSION OF BUSY-NESS.
One of the greatest risks of doing business online is that it is possible to stay very busy all day without producing anything. It is my suspicion that the reason 99% of internet start ups fail is that the staff is very busy doing very little business. Very busy includes clerical tasks such as typing, printing, scanning, searching and making contact on social networks. The result is a popular secretary.
Profits come from a much higher level of contact. The money raised for that business was not raised on the internet. It came from handshakes, drinks at the club, business cards and a look in the eye.
True revenues come the same way. When you say to a person, "I have your business card..." you have told them that you are validated, that they met you and most importantly that they have to -contend- with you. Digital world seems oddly adverse to personal interaction. They have to get back to their computers.
It is my suspicion that there is such an enormous gap between online customer usage and online ad dollars---about 14% of all ad dollars go online, about 80% of all eyeballs are online whew, is that digital sellers are busy showing off their brains rather than their product benefits. Every pitch I've seen is so full of cleverness that it is hard to hear how their product will sell anything. "Metrics" don't sell, emotion sells and that is rarely rolled out.
The analog old, read WEALTHY media knows that the big bucks are in the one to one sale. The confidence of a thoughtful, prepared Q&A that is client focused is the key to major media dollars
The REAL money changes hands at the restaurant, boardroom, in person. And that starts with picking up the business cards and calling the handy direct line printed there. Mine is 212 681 8181.