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Tolling Points

Building Social Bridges Throughout the Year

Photo by buddawiggi

This is a guest post by Jenise Fryatt, Social Media Strategist for Smarter Shift and part of IBTTA's social media team.

IBTTA regularly hosts conferences where members bond, learn from each other, and go on to benefit professionally from the friendships they build onsite.

I've been fortunate to hear some of the feedback from these events. Words like "unforgettable" and "inspiring" are not uncommon.

When laughter, fun, and insightful discussions are shared over time among peers who are passionate about what they do, the ties they form go deeper, last longer, and have greater benefits.

But conferences last only a few days, and then it’s usually back to the grindstone without much of a look back. Though we may remember our friends fondly, the opportunity to get to know them better remains elusive.
The Conversations Go Both Ways
However, as part of IBTTA’s social media team, I can tell you unequivocally that that doesn’t have to be the case. With just a few keystrokes, you can get your hands on a tool that will help:

  1. Keep the conversations and relationships going after you get home from an IBTTA event
  2. Build and solidify relationships before you even get onsite, so that the conversations have already started by the time the opening reception begins.

It’s as easy as tapping into the Internet from your desktop or mobile phone.
Connect With Peers From All Over the World
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, make it easy. They’re a great way for colleagues to meet virtually, say hi, share a laugh, share advice, and discuss industry issues—across time zones, even from half-way around the world.

You can tap in to these online networking opportunities wherever you are, at any time of the day.  They don’t require dues or business attire. But they’re far more powerful and effective when they’re anchored by your membership and active participation in a professional association like IBTTA. That’s when they’re most likely to lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and enduring friendships.

Online conversations don’t give you the facial expressions or the convivial atmosphere of a beer shared at a local bar. But they do deliver the excitement of discovering like-minded folks from all over the world…and planning to share that beer the next time you’re both in the same city.

Suddenly you’re hooked in to the pulse of your industry, the early adopters of communication technology who are often more up on technology of all kinds. Social media may also be the easiest place to gain access to some of the big industry names you read about in print publications.
A Community That Shares Your Goals
Most important of all, as you interact and contribute on social media, you begin to build your own community that supports and nurtures your business success.  Like the proverbial office water cooler, you meet and exchange anecdotes and tips, and warm feelings of camaraderie begin to build.

Want to feel an explosion of warmth, laughter, and understanding like you've never experienced? Walk into an onsite "tweetup" of people with whom you’ve already connected online.

IBTTA Executive Director and CEO Pat Jones says it's his goal to take the warm feelings and valuable networking opportunities that members experience at IBTTA conferences and extend them to the online arena.

In 2013, that’s one of the most worthy goals any association can have. With today’s social platforms, it isn’t difficult to attain. And what a thrill to work with an association that is so focused on making the best use of its social networks!

In the months ahead, the social media team will be doing what we can to support this initiative with education, interaction, and thoughtful structuring of opportunities for members to engage on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. In the true spirit of social media…let us know what you think and how we can help you create your ideal online community.

(Photo by buddawiggi)


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