Last week Wednesday morning, I got to sit with a great group of people as I facilitated a roundtable discussion for Intriciti on the topic of social media.

In that conversation, one of the attendees affirmed the truth that social media isn't a fake relationship or relational cop out, but rather an extension of the real-world relationships that we have. That resonated with me, because, although I believe that statement to be true, unless I stop and think about it, I often miss the ways in which social media has augmented my relationships with people around me.

For instance, in just looking at my Facebook feed, I've learned that:

  • One friend, who lives in Toronto, stumbled onto a crowd of people gathered outside a hotel, only to learn that it was Justin Bieber inside. A great talking point for the next time I see that friend.
  • Another friend, who lives in Alberta, just received their stunning new business cards for their startup and I had a chance to congratulate them on it.
  • Another friend just became an instructor at a local college and so I was able to congratulate him as well.

These are not meaningless interactions. They are valuable and they add to the broader context of how I relate with these individuals. But the value is dependent on how I use the medium.

But it's not just social media either - it's all communications mediums. And it's not just personal relationships - it's organizational relationships with their audiences too. Real, true, effective communications undoubtedly require an offline component in order to reach a real, lasting depth, but those relationships can also be augmented and strengthened through other communications mediums as well.

Finding that balance and maintaining that perspective is critical to good a communications strategy.

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.