Where Do You Sustain Relationships

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Two businessmen in a meetingSome people thrive on face-to-face interaction. Grabbing coffee, lunch, drinks with anybody and everybody. Others prefer to email and text. Many congregate on Facebook and Twitter. There’s no question that there are plenty of people embracing each of these mediums to establish relationships. But where do you build your relationships? Transition from acquaintances to strategic partners or friends?

I recently read The 5 Keys to Building Relationships on the Web, which indicated that entertaining, exciting and engaging with people was key to building web-based relationships.  My immediate response was that these rules were equally relevant to IRL interactions. If we are using the same tactics for creating relationships – informing, entertaining, building trust – whether it is through web-based communications or real life interactions, does it matter where you start the relationship? Does its point of origin directly correlate with the relationships value and longevity?

As a late adopter of Facebook, yes. . .I know. . .I hear about this all the time, I’ve become heavily reliant on Twitter for jumpstarting online relationships. Yes, some of my followers are also my friends, but my communications are more heavily Twitter-based. I find that the people I interact with most often on Facebook, are the people I am interacting in with real life, thereby using the platform as a photo hub and easy way of coordinating schedules.

The people I interact with on Twitter are predominantly those in different geographic regions, so there isn’t any real life interaction supplementing these relationships. Yet, I still interact with tweeps that I met just weeks after first establishing my account.

Amidst this rambling, there is a point – everyone starts their relationships in different places. And, my guess is, everyone sustains their relationships on different platforms. But is there a superior method/sequence? Do relationships that start on Twitter last longer than those started on Facebook? LinkedIn? IRL? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts!

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  • http://rebeccaadenison.com Rebecca Denison

    I'm so glad to read this because I feel the exact same way. Maybe it's because I joined FB back when it was for college kids only, but I ONLY interact with people I've already met on Facebook. It's a way for me to keep up with old high school and now college friends, but if you haven't met me IRL, odds are we are not FB friends (with very few exceptions).

    Twitter is definitely a place where I make online friends who I may eventually meet IRL (and then become FB friends with, ha), but I'm OK with the fact that I haven't meet the vast majority of my Twitter buddies. It's just a different kind of relationship.

    So I guess for me, I've found that “meeting” on Twitter and then IRL is the best way to go, and if FB friending follows, so be it. I'm interested to hear other's thoughts on this!

  • LBaish

    This really resonates with me because I recently wrote a blog post about this very topic. I have to agree with Rebecca – I think the fact that early to mid 20-somethings began Facebook in college, they relegate real life relationships to Facebook. I'm a huge advocate of keeping your Facebook more personal (outside of corporate pages, obviously). For personal branding, Twitter and LinkedIn are much more conducive to developing relationships.

    Then again, you should always develop those relationships where your consumers and audience are. So for businesses, it all depends!

  • Cristin McGrath

    I find that my personal relationships are Facebook-based while my professional online relationships are Twitter-based.

    No0t sure why it worked out like that?

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