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Going Face to Face with Facebook

Bridging the Gap~Technology vs. Touch Experiment

Technology vs. Touch

People make fun of me for being on Facebook. Aren’t you too old? Isn’t that like {horror} myspace?? How can Facebook bring you business? Well Facebook allows me to connect with people that I might have lost touch with. Or who I might not even talk to at the grocery store.

I know you… but I am going to pretend like I don’t

Ever had one of those situations where you see someone and you think you know them but you don’t want to say anything –you aren’t sure if it is really them– or even more likely, you know it is them but you are afraid they won’t remember you? Facebook seems to eliminate some of that fear, at least for me. I will add people to Facebook that I wouldn’t have said hello to in the grocery store. Safety behind the computer screen?

I have decided to try an “experiment”. For every “friend” I have on Facebook, I would like to make some sort of low tech touch- phone call, face to face, even a little handwritten note. Throw off the safety belt and get real with real people. (This means no email, no text messaging!)

Getting Real with Real People

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How about a phone call that goes like this:

Hey Sarah. thanks so much for adding me as a friend on Facebook. I am excited to connect with you this way. I haven’t chatted with you in a long time, so I thought I would call and just say hey and see what’s up.

I call it “bridging the gap” between 2.0 technique and traditional techniques of connecting with people. Using 2.0 techniques to connect with real people and then stepping beyond the safety of the computer screen to enhance and deepen existing relationships.

I am all set to start my experiment. Find someone on your Facebook (or LinkedIn, or other social networking spot) that you aren’t all that comfortable calling and find a way to connect “the old fashioned way”.

Care to join me?

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Written By

Ginger Wilcox is a Broker Associate at Alain Pinel in Marin County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an accomplished speaker, writer and trainer on the real estate industry, online marketing and social media strategy. Ginger is the publisher of the Marin Real Estate Guide -"Blog by the Bay," a highly regarded Bay Area real estate web site. For more information about Ginger, visit



  1. Bill Lublin

    July 19, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Ginger ; I so related to your post – and your point is well made. Everyone in the world is not disappearing here and reappearing in second life – we need to effectuate the melding of technology and personal skills to maximize the effect of social media to further our personal and business goals.

    Thanks for reading my mind and putting it on paper so much better!

  2. ines

    July 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Hey Ginger! bridging the gap I think is crucial because so many of us get so comfortable with typing and texting and DM’ing or whatever that we forget that others may not find that medium comfortable.

    Just this week, an old neighbor that I haven’t talked to in years, sent me a note through Plaxo asking me to call them because they don’t do e-mail well, in that same message they mentioned that a mutual friend was in town and 2 days later I ran unto both at the bank! – it was like social media prepared me for this face-to-face meeting… was pretty surreal (and it doesn’t hurt that one of them is moving back and in town and will need a Realtor soo) 😉

    (welcome to AG – I am soooo glad to see you here)

  3. Dale Chumbley

    July 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Ginger, Great post! I try to make small connections through these social media sites but you help push that even further. Thank you! I have to admit, I will use text messaging as one of my avenues. I like it and feel it is pretty personal since you get right to the person where they are. I’ve found that the quick dialogue on the text message can be pretty fun and rewarding. IMHO. ;?) Hope to “hear from you” one day in the near future. Take care, Dale

  4. Brian Block

    July 19, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Ginger, terrific ideas. Sometimes we all get lazy with our real friendships and only communicate with them in the Web 2.0 space. I’m as guilty as everyone else. It’s truly bizarre when I catchup with my sister on her Facebook Wall and re-connect and communicate with my best friend from high school via Facebook as well. Every once in a while, everyone needs to go old school — pick up the phone, write a note, arrange a date for coffee.

    On another note, congratulations on writing here on AgentGenius and looking forward to meeting you Face to Face in a few days in San Francisco!

  5. Vance Shutes

    July 19, 2008 at 4:51 pm


    Your photo caption at the opening of this post really sums it up for me – piecing it together – Touch and Technology. I’ve built my business since 1994 on the simple concept of regular contact with my base – either in print, by phone, or a visit. The melding of Web 2.0 fits perfectly into this strategy, and you’ve captured the essence superbly in this article. Many thanks!

  6. monika

    July 19, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Ginger, Mixing the old traditional ways with the new is the way to go. I think it really helps us stand out in the crowd. Congratulations on becoming a Genius!

  7. Eric Blackwell

    July 19, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Great points, The goal IMO is to contact them using the means that THEY are comfortable with.

  8. Glenn fm Naples

    July 20, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Ginger – why don’t we just call this the humanization of the web?

  9. Chuck G

    July 20, 2008 at 6:57 am

    This just proves that you need to do both in this market to be successful — tech touch AND human touch. Relying totally on one or the other is essentially ignoring a big chunk of potential business. Sitting behind the keyboard is easy because there’s no threat of rejection. Picking up the phone is very much like starting that uncomfortable conversation in the grocery store (great analogy, by the way.)

    Want a way to bridge that gap, kind of an “interim” step? Podcast. Or better yet, video podcast. That way, people who are visitiing your site can actually hear and see you before you step out and make that personal touch.

  10. Glenn fm Naples

    July 20, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Chuck G – like your thought on video podcast and putting it on one’s site.

  11. Ginger Wilcox

    July 20, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Bill- I really believe if we really consciously target ways to meld them together (excellent choice of words by the way), that it can catapult our efforts to an entirely new level- creating connection s with people in a way we never really thought was possible.

    Ines- I am glad to be here too! It is now challenging to me when I have clients who I can’t rely on email with. I have one client who wants to sign everything in person- nothing sent via email or fax. It is just how they work and they are good clients so I have to adjust. Of course, I would never find them on facebook either!

    Dale- I agree, text is more personal than other mediums. I like that you have to get right to the point with it. I can guarantee you will hear from me one day soon. I am calendaring in my face to face book experiment (right after Inman Connect!)

    Brian- Lazy is an excellent way to describe it. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to connect, the harder it is too! I am thrilled you are coming to connect- can’t wait to meet you!!!

    Vance- I also built my business that way. Contact, Contact, Contact. It just works. Now I am trying to find a way to really bring together my love for technology to bridge that gap.

    Monika- thanks. I am thrilled and honored to be here!

    Eric- true. You don’t want to send them a text if they don’t know how. But do you think a phone call would make someone uncomfortable? I can’t imagine feeling uncomfortable if someone called me that I am connected with on Facebook. I would be unhappy if they just called and started hitting me up for business, but that is not what I am talking about- just a simple “hey, how are you doing”. If that is too difficult, it could also be a quick email that says, n”oticed your name on my facebook yesterday. I haven’t seen you in so long. I would love to grab a cup of coffee or meet up for a drink”

    Glenn- exactly!

    Chuck G- great suggestion. I have been avoiding the podcast, which is actually amusing because I was a Broadcast Journalism major in college and have reporting experience!! It is on my “to do” list.

  12. Paula Henry

    July 20, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Ginger – Welcome to AG! Somehow I missed the announcement. Most of my thoughts have already been voiced here, that being, you can’t use just one means of communication. People appreciate technology – it makes life simpler – but they also want the human touch. Great reminder to get out from behind the screen.

  13. Bill Lublin

    July 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Ginger – I blush with modesty look forward to seeing you at Inman! And welcome to AG –

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