Lately we’ve spent a lot of time holed up in our NYC apartment, perched on our chairs, eyes glued to our screens as we develop a social media plan for our book. But this afternoon we took a break to meet with and get some advice from Jen van der Meer, innovation strategist, who just happens to be a neighbor from around the corner. And when we asked Jen the best way to reach blog editors and other potential influencers she said,
“Follow them on Twitter, find out where they live and if you’re in the same town, ask if they’ll meet you.”
Really? Instead of emailing someone a proposal, leave home and actually meet them? That sounds so…pre-Internet!
In fact Jen’s suggestion reminded us of the counterintuitive advice we got from one of the biggest boosters of social media, the business guru and former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki. When we interviewed Guy for our book he told us,
“Pressing the flesh is the best way to create relationships, so get out of your chair and jump into the analog world…. Get close enough to people that they become your fan and they love what you do so much that they camp overnight in front of your store to be the first person to buy your iPhone.”
But meeting and relating to people requires emotional risk—the possibility of performance anxiety, the sting of rejection and blow to your self-esteem. So although it may sometimes be more comfortable to obsessively count your Twitter followers, Facebook fans and likes, we shouldn’t forget that ultimately the most primal and satisfying sort of human interactions (and after all, those that may be most beneficial) are usually face to face.