When you hear about success stories in social networking, many people talk about the successes they have from meeting people online, forming business partnerships and long lasting friendships through their online networks. Social networking is not limited to just online ventures. Social networking has always been around as people formed partnerships through their mutual friends. Social networking does work even in the offline world.
Case in point has to do with a relationship that has formed between myself as webmaster and owner of Newfoundland Hockey Talk and Spirit of Hockey. I discovered Spirit of Hockey when I saw there banner ad show up on my site from the Google Adwords program. An email later and several phone calls, an instant friendship and bond was formed after I spoke to one of the owners – Elizabeth Urlacher.
The Spirit of Hockey team are now here in Newfoundland – on a “working” vacation, taking photos for their upcoming calendar and this is where the power of social networking has come to play in an offline world. The Urlachers required some volunteer models for their photo shoots and with some of my connections, I got the word out to the local media and hockey personalities around the province. We quickly had responses and an interview arranged with CBC Radio in Corner Brook, NL, which got some exposure for their visit.
Brian Urlacher, the other owner and driving force behind Spirit of Hockey is also a consummate marketer. His promotional and communication skills are evident when he takes a lead provided through individuals like myself and grows it into a full opportunity – taking the connection made through offline social networking and leveraging it to accomplish a tangible goal. It is truly amazing and being as friendly and down-to-earth as both Brian and Elizabeth are makes converting the opportunity into a deliverable is very natural.
Isn’t this what social networking is supposed to be about – making a connection, creating an opportunity and then closing the deal?
Even today, when arranging for one of their final shoots here in Western Newfoundland, we needed some more models. The call went out to my group of friends, and quickly things started happening. It’s great to watch social networking work in a traditional, offline environment.
Yes, social networking does work in both an online and offline environment. It is a force that if leveraged correctly can reap rewards for both individuals and companies. Remember, that social networking has been around a lot longer than the Internet. Leverage all your connections, both online and offline, create an opportunity for success and turn that opportunity into a reality.