When you hear the term ‘social networking’, what comes to mind? Usually, most people will respond with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even YouTube and Pinterest. However, as Australian businessman Bruce Fink says, something is lacking in social networking if you relegate it to the ranks of social media. Social media is a very big part of social networking, but there is so much more to it than a mere tweet or a quick comment on fracking to grow our oil reserves.
Somewhere along the line, we’ve taken the ‘social’ out of ‘social networking’ and have lost that very personal touch that is so important to building a strong network of peers in the world of business. Here’s a look at some of what Fink has done to promote networking in the truest sense of the word.
Business Communications at the Heart of Social Networking
If you are asking yourself what has social networking got to do with business communications, the answer is quite simple. Everything! Building a network of peers not only helps you to grow your own business but it is a real boon for the economy as well. Working together, peers offer viable leads and invaluable advice that is often hard to come by. In fact, at the heart of social networking within the business community is mentoring.
Staying Tuned in to the World at Large
Just one look at Executive Channel International, ECI, tells you just how important it is to stay abreast of the business world in real time. A privately held company founded by Fink in 2002, ECI is a network that connects businesses in Australia, the UK, Holland and France through a series of digital screens. Not only can businessmen and women stay in touch through digital communications in real time video format, but they can also tune in to full motion advertising displays that also offer the latest news in various industries.
Because of a highly targeted communications network, advertising is seen when and where it needs to be. A realtor in France, for example, would probably not be interested in the price of bananas in New South Wales. It’s all about communicating with those who need to hear what you have to say, when you need to say it. It’s about a real time dissemination of information and a real time conversation between peers.
Brands with a Social Message Need More than Social Media
One of the real issues confronting today’s businesses is a global state of apathy. Yes, business professionals need to stay connected to build their own companies, but what about the consumers who make their businesses what they are? What about the need to do more in a ‘have more’ society? This is huge amongst millennials who are interested in social issues and will willingly deal with brands that have a focused social message.
Again, taking a look at Bruce Fink and his mission to aid more than 32,000 homeless youth in Australia, you will see that connecting with other business professionals throughout his continent can provide a network of businesses with a sound social message. Not only will they be helping the troubled youth of today find a way out of their current state of poverty, but these socially connected businessmen and women will be preparing today’s youth to be leaders of tomorrow – leaders with a compassionate understanding of how the world works. And, to think all of this is possible through a viable network of digital communications!
Business Communications via Social Networking
In effect, this form of digital business communications is social networking at its best: professional networking. Not only can business professionals stay informed about content that is relevant to them within their respective industries but ECN, sister company to ECI, provides video conferencing capabilities whereby executives can communicate digitally, face-to-face, to network on a higher level.
It’s more than a post on a social media page because you are communicating with others who can impact your bottom line. You are building real relationships with real people on the other end of the globe who have an express interest in what you have to say and vice versa. However, if you were to leave those communications to tweets or posting on social pages, chances are a huge percentage of your audience isn’t on a ‘need to know’ basis. They may be following you simply to build a friends list. You’ll never know!
Targeted Communications for the Business Professional
There is no doubt about it, social media is perhaps one of the best ways to build brand quickly and efficiently – nothing wrong with that! In fact, social media as we have come to know it today is one of the most effective tools you can have to grow your business at breakneck (viral!) speed. Unfortunately, that isn’t social networking as you need it to be.
Social networking, as Bruce Fink suggets, goes beyond superficial messages that are a large part of what social media is and does. Yes, the US President, Donald Trump, tweets about everything he is doing, has done and intends to do, but is that really social? Being social implies making a very real connection with another person and in the world of business, you need a deeper level of communication than you’ll find on social media sites. It’s a whole other perspective than being social on a personal level. Business social networking is targeted to groups based on relevance.
That’s the main reason why ECN literally cornered the market. It’s the perfect blend of social media and business networking for those looking to communicate with others in their industry. Social networking goes beyond social media, and Executive Channel Network is a great example of just how that works.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.