Reality Sometimes Hurt
What I find most exciting over the many years I have been online is the opportunities of me being social online has creates in getting to meet offline with many of my online acquaintances. It is these people who I have visited with online and then met offline that confirms what I am going to be blogging about today which is….How you act online is how consumers will assume you will act offline…and…what social space you do business in will reflect on if consumers will do business with you .
I found most of my online acquaintances I have met offline have the same personality offline as they have online. I say most because I have met a couple over the years who represent their company’s personality and offline are nothing like what they portray online, but that was OK since they were a lot more personable than their company wanted them to be.
What You See is What You Get
Most of the people I met offline had the same tone of voice as they have with their online comments and the articles and topics they share. How they seemed to me online reflected exactly how I perceive them to be before I meet them offline.
Unfortunately, in a very few of these offline meetings have also displayed the combativeness many of them display online. On the most part, if they seemed to be mean spirited online is exactly how they were offline.
Businesses Need to Be Interactive Online
So if someone Trolls your social spaces for the sole purpose to disagree with you on everything, that usually is how they will be when you meet them offline.
Fortunately, this holds true as well on the positive side. Those I have met offline who are pleasant online carry proudly that positive mannerism offline.
What makes this observation interesting has to do with how consumers will take how someone portrays themselves online, and what social space they use, as how they would represent themselves in business.
In a recent visit I had with one of my online acquaintances that I was fortunate to met offline said to me..“You are exactly like you are online.” I took this as a complement since that is what I am attempting to accomplish, however it was what this person said after that confirms many of my thoughts of how everyday consumers see the business people who are online.
Over the years of offline meetings with my online contacts I’ve heard a number of comparisons people make on how what someone posts online as being what that person would be if they met them offline. Many of the initial conversations I have had recently will be about the people they see online as being all business are more than likely even more so when they meet them offline. The people who are not interactive online are also people they find as being standoffish when they finally meeting them in person.
Consumers Are Put Off
This usually leads to them telling me how they get “totally put off” with the people who post only ‘Chest Thumping’ promotional information then when they see them at a conference they are even more focused on selling everyone something.
There have been a number of conversation I have had where my new friends sited the many ‘SEO Consultants’, who post endless articles supporting their aging form of a business model, are someone they would suspect, from how they don’t interact casually in the social space, as being the same offline.
They also mentioned a number of business coaches and other so-called social media experts as being people they would not feel comfortable doing business with after viewing their posts in the social spaces.
Where a Business Interacts Matters
I have had other conversations where they tell me they would not do business with any business that uses Facebook. It is in these type of offline meetings where I gain information on how people really use the social spaces and how they view others who use the social spaces.
Obviously my contacts are consumers and their reactions to what they see happening online represents the ‘Reality’ marketers need to start taking more serious.
If businesses are expecting to be taken serious online it is very clear they are going to have to interact where the interaction is part of their efforts to be Found. If a business is not going to listen to their consumers or to people who do listen to their consumers who are they going to listen to?
Let me know how I can help.