It used to be that proximity drove everything. The ability to take that call, from your land line. Your capability to make a living, through learning a trade that your town had a need for. Even your opportunity to find a mate, at the school dance.
Today, we live in a world where through phones, social and video chat, people can connect instantly from anywhere around the world, without moving from their chairs. GPS mapping systems have sharpened their abilities within applications like Facebook, Foursquare and Waze to enhance our lives in addition to telling us where we are, where we've been and where we want to go. We have built around us a borderless global society, without the need for proximity to connect. And with that, I say "Hello, neighbor." You. My next door neighbor is you. And you are everywhere.
Even as a brand, the definition of being a global company has changed. We can no longer call a company "global," just because they have physical locations in multiple countries. With the ability for us to transact business at our fingertips - online, in person, via mobile and social - the necessity of proximity to formulate relationships, conduct business, and exchange information has been redefined.
1) Influence has No Walls - I get asked all the time why they should tweet someone across the world if their business only operates here. This is always one of my favorite questions, and the biggest reason is that anyone can now influence anyone who's listening - even back in your own market. Never underestimate the power of influence, its reach globally can impact you locally, when you least expect it.
2) Connect with Everywhere - I've come to know some pretty incredible people through social around the world that I would consider friends, that I hope to meet one day face-to-face but haven't quite yet. I value how much we help each other and educate each other. I've learned so much from people in other countries and cultures, enough to know that if I ever needed to tap into them as a resource, I'm good to go.
3) Find your Social Time Zone - The Internet doesn't shut down after your workday, so if you truly want to get perspectives from others, try getting social after hours and on weekends. For me, a lot of people I communicate with are in Europe and Australia. It's important that I operate on their time zone just as much as mine, if we're really going to build our social relationship.
4) Let Data be your Guide - Building benchmarks are great, especially when you start with an objective and want to track the results. But no matter how much you want to believe you can control where you message is received, that just isn't the case. Take a peek at your geographical analytics such as timing, location and any clusters surrounding your content. You'll be surprised at where your message may be resonating, and how much smarter you can get about targeting it over time.
5) Enjoy the Journey - Fun is fun. If you don't have fun in your social conversations, then it's going to show. Having some seriously fun dialogue on any topics about your product, brand or personal thoughts can make a world of difference in the energy you receive back in return. The laws of the Universe don't lie - the amount of authentic heart you put out into the world will be equal to the amount you receive back.
KEY TAKEAWAY: The social, mobile and online technology today has redefined how proximity inhibits our abilities to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. When conversations are as authentic as they are face-to-face, you can find friends around the globe who care as much about helping you grow your business as you do. It's a new world order... get out and start meeting your neighbors!
I would love your thoughts or questions about this post, please jot it below. Cheers!