January 2, 2014 Duncan Alney

In Real Life: Social In Person (And Not In Media)

What happened to being social in real life? Social media has shifted the focus away from culminating “real life” experiences with people.

So to get to the point: I’ll be writing a column “In Real Life” that covers – what else – real life interactions and how they add the most vital value in the overall social equation. There is no question that they are the hardest to orchestrate and yet offer the most value.

As digital social interactions continue to grow, the real life part is being neglected by too many. And since we know social, both in real life and in media, is all encompassing, this is a habit we need to change.

social media vectorYou may be thinking, “But Duncan, it’s so easy to keep up with people on social media!” While it’s true Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and the gaggle of niche social platforms have made it easier to remember people’s birthdays, anniversaries, life events, and all the selfies in between, comments, likes, retweets and favorites are inadequate when you think about the warmth, immediacy and intent that go along with “real life” social interactions – not to mention the potential long term value – across brand, marketing, human resources, and other important business functions.

This post is not about dissing social media marketing (the largest part of our work), rather it is an indication of the vital role social can play in our relationships with brands and more importantly with people in both business and personal situations.

Analog belongs in every digital “social” campaign. And vice versa.

While many brands will never have a human touch point, the winning potential that comes with people coming together in real life is very evident to brands that get it. Take the meet ups Mini does for its hard-core advocates or the rides Harley-Davidson organizes – they’re all invaluable in terms of the bonds they create.

The traditional response is “word of mouth is impossible to measure.” However, smart marketing people have figured this out and know the prior statement could not be farther from the truth.

Word of mouth (and social in real life) may not be as sexy as a big media campaign around the Super Bowl nor does it offer the same commissions or billings. Of course, these “media” projects also don’t guarantee a return on investment or in many cases any empirical data that show anything beyond impressions.

Stay tuned for more – as I shift in to a deeper focus on the last value of social in real life. And meanwhile, if you want to have a coffee – I’m ready and I’ll buy.


Duncan Alney

Duncan Alney

CEO at Firebelly
Fun Fact: Duncan co-authored the book "Facebook Marketing Secrets." He founded Firebelly in 2001.
Duncan Alney

About the Author

Duncan Alney Fun Fact: Duncan co-authored the book "Facebook Marketing Secrets." He founded Firebelly in 2001.

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