The official blog of Nancy Marshall Communications
offering tips, techniques, and thoughts from Maine's PR Maven, Nancy Marshall

 

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Social Networking Does Not Replace In-Person Networking

Nancy Marshall, CEO of Nancy Marshall Communications

From time to time, I meet with young professionals who are starting out in their careers and need to make connections. Some of them have the idea that they can use LinkedIn and Facebook exclusively to make connections without actually meeting people face to face.  I discourage them from relying solely on their computers for networking. Instead, I advise them to join chambers of commerce, boards of trustees, and other civic groups to meet people in person.

Online social networking is a great way to initially connect with people, but it’s no substitute for developing relationships over the long term. I recommend that you always seek out opportunities to meet with people face-to-face. It’s great to use LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest or other social networks before, during, or after your in-person interaction but the goal should always be to get together and do something in person. Social networks are a great way to keep track of people in between your in-person meetings.

You can’t truly get to know a person when both of you are behind your computer or smart phone screen. The best (and the worst) of people comes out during face-to-face interactions. I worry about young people who think they have ‘friends’ based on the number of connections they have on Facebook. These might be people who know your name and know what you look like, but until you’ve spent time with a person, you can’t really decide whether they are your friend or not.

My advice is to seek out the people you want to get to know either for personal or professional reasons, and invite them to lunch, or for drinks, or to a baseball game, or to go skiing or biking or hiking.  You may meet these people in a variety of settings but professional networking groups such as chambers of commerce, Rotary Club, Kiwanis and even BNI (Business Networking International) are good places to start.

There’s nothing like a campfire to pull together a group of people as
true friends. In May, we had a group of French students who were
visiting my son Jamie’s school over to our house a potluck dinner and
a campfire. We sang, told stories, and had a wonderful time together.
This is where true friendships are made.

There are so many fun things to do with old and new friends that will strengthen your relationship, but you need to make an effort to get these things on your calendar and extend your circle of influence.  Once you get together and enjoy these times together, you can post photos of yourselves on Facebook and other social networks, and share stories about what you did.

It’s easy to spend most of your time with your family and old friends, but for professional growth and development, you should make an effort to make new contacts and expand your circle of friends.

 

2010 Called – They Want Their Website Back

NMC Interactive Marketing Manager, Matt Rideout

Does it seem too soon to say something like that? It’s not. The truth is, mobile devices have completely changed the Web landscape over the last couple of years. Mobile searches have grown 4x since 2010. More people are ditching their laptops and are using smaller tablets or large smart phones for a lot of their Web browsing now.

Are you trying to drive traffic to your website using social media platforms like Facebook? Did you know that Facebook’s mobile users grew by 50% to over 500 million in 2012? It’s likely that any links you post to Facebook will be viewed on a mobile device.

So far in 2013, NMC’s clients have regularly received 25% – 30% of their traffic from mobile devices. In 2012 we were saying 15% – 20%. In 2011 it was less than 10%.

Full desktop for Summit Natural Gas of Maine.

The problem is, desktop websites just do not display properly on phones. People need to “pinch and zoom” just to read small areas of text. They have to pan when lines of text don’t break within the limits of the screen. Buttons are hard to click, drop down menus do not work, and visitors become frustrated.

If your website is not mobile friendly, your business is literally leaking money. Customers are hitting their phone’s back button and trying elsewhere because they can’t make it through your website without unnecessary effort (it’s like making the entrance to your store into an obstacle course).

This is why NMC is now making all new websites completely responsive. Responsive websites automatically resize and rearrange content and menus according to the size of the screen that the user is viewing the site on. This makes it so that on small touch screens, everything becomes navigable with just a thumb and content is organized much like a mobile app. On larger tablet screens, everything works perfectly through touch with more content filling the entire screen area, and on desktop screens, users get a view that is optimized for a keyboard, mouse, and large viewing area.

Tablet display for Summit Natural Gas of Maine.

To see a responsive website in action, head over to one of NMC’s latest creations at http://SummitNaturalGasMaine.com. Check it out on your smart phone, tablet, and desktop. All of the same information is accessible to everyone, but rearranged and presented differently depending on the screen size. Using Google Chrome, you can watch this transformation live by dragging your screen width from full screen to narrow to see how elements of the page reposition and resize themselves. Watch as it immediately responds to changes in screen size. This website was building using responsive (mobile friendly) technology on the Drupal platform. Our client can easily upload and add new content themselves once, and the system will automatically adapt it to any screen size without any extra work.

To learn more about what responsive Web technology can do for your business, feel free to come see NMC, the mobile marketing experts.

Article by NMC Interactive Marketing Manager, Matt Rideout