If you stumbled over the title of this post, maybe it’s time to jack out of the matrix, Neo.
I know that most people wouldn’t put “social media” and “offline” in the same sentence, but maybe that’s because only the best of the best social media efforts make it there.
It’s funny because you hear people all the time getting all excited because O.M.G. the web is SOCIAL now! I can talk to you, and you can talk to me, and I can write reviews that get read in Istanbul, and you can friend up the entire offensive line of (undefeated!) Penn State’s football team.
This is, undeniably, a big deal. But we need to remember that there was a place that people were being social before the internet came along.
It’s called the real world. It’s where your mother is right now, and your dog, and your girlfriend (well, maybe not your girlfriend) too.
And the best social media plans understand this. They serve as enablers, facilitators, catalysts, and precursors for real life interaction. Look at the Makers Mark Ambassadors program or the Fiskateers. How about the Manic Mommies and their Escapes, events like Blogger Social, the Plaid Tour, and the booming popularity of Tweetups.
Think about (and I know he gets talked about all the time, but it’s because he’s that good) Gary Vaynerchuck. He blows peoples minds with his energy and passion about wine on WLTV and then goes out there and connects with everyone on every social network you can think of. Then he follows up on every single email he gets. But the best part is what happens offline. That guy that gets his question answered about what wine to serve with the meal he’s going to propose to his girlfriend is going to tell his friends. Maybe online, but more likely at the office, at a party, at the wedding reception. And it’s going to go something like this.
“Oh man I was so nervous, you know me. I had no idea about the meal and then I had to figure out the wine too. There’s this guy online, Gary Vay-ner-chuck, who is, like, a total wine guru, and he answered my email about which wine to get. It was awesome. You should check out his stuff, he’s at winelibrary.tv.”