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How Social Media Enables Face-to-Face Interaction
By: Christine Geraci
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It's easy to forget the importance of face-to-face meetings, especially when our digital culture makes it so easy to stay in touch with people no matter their location. Despite the swath of studies and articles out there decrying social media tools as the bane of good old-fashioned social skills, these tools actually make it much easier to arrange in-the-flesh meetings. 
 
In fact, when possible, why not use them for that purpose, especially when such events could bring your online communities closer together and cultivate more loyalty to your brand/organization/etc. as a result?
 
Here are some ways to enable face-to-face communication through social media:
 
Tweetups. If you utilize Twitter regularly, a "tweetup" can bring your followers and followers of followers together to meet, mingle, and cultivate relationships with YOU as the common thread. Here's a great guide from Mashable on how to schedule a successful tweetup. 
 
Facebook Events. Reach out to your Facebook fans by using the Events feature to spread the word about your meet-and-greet event, provide primary details, and get a sense of who's going and who will have to pass. 
 
Banjo. This mobile app syncs with all of your followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and then lets you know when they're in close proximity to you geographically. Great for impromptu meet-ups. 
 
Lanyrd. This is a great tool to use for professional meet-ups. Lanyrd lets you know about various upcoming conferences and then lets you use Twitter to find out who in your professional network is attending so you can connect and meet up at conferences. 
 
LinkedIn. The face-to-face meeting is so important in the world of work, and LinkedIn's features allow you to easily connect and arrange meetings with the added security of knowing you're dealing with professionals, given the nature of the social network. 
 
For more information and tips, check out this awesome Mashable article on turning social media relationships into real-life connections. 
 
How do you use social media to land the in-person meeting?


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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