E-rapport is a relationship built and maintained solely through social media; usually LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
People fall in love and get married and the only communication they’ve had has been via the Internet. They find and establish electronic pen-pals based upon a shared interest and, sadly, we’ve all read articles about the darker side of social media when used to establish and develop highly improper relationships. Like it or not they are all a testament to the power of e-rapport.
E-rapport is important because relationships can only exist through interactions. These interactions do not have to be in person or over the telephone – they can be entirely electronic.
In my experience people tend to be more open to approach on social media from those they don’t know (especially true on Twitter) and when dialogue has been opened they are usually more chatty too, giving out (and receiving) more personal information – also a requirement for building relationships. You can’t expect to develop a relationship if all you talk about is work, quel boring!
Of course in the longer run you need more than e-rapport: you will only do business with somebody you’ve actually met so up the relationship ante and give them a call or suggest a meeting. Man cannot live by e-rapport alone.
Avoid indulgence: its easy to connect with interesting people who will not be a benefit to your business but who are easy to talk to and will happily interact with you. These people are called friends; they’re great to have but should not be confused with prospective clients.
So if you want to know why so many people benefit from using social media it’s because, amongst other things, they get to establish e-rapport, and therefore start relationships, with people they normally wouldn’t get access to.
I’d say that’s a pretty awesome thing to do and I’m hoping you do too.
Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net