Add friends, send Digg shouts, use the @Twitter function all you want, the real way to grow your blog, business or network of contacts is to pry yourself away from the keyboard, the PDA and interact with other human beings.

MiltonYes, Milton, this mean’s you.

As I ready for Blog World & New Media Expo next week in Las Vegas, I’m compelled to follow good advice and make a list of folks I want to meet, even if it is just for coffee, a cocktail or a handshake and face-to-name connection in the hallway. Even if I do have the advantage of accompanying super blogger Rob May and entrepreneurial whiz Todd Earwood for easy introductions, there are folks I want to connect with that might be scared off by Earwood.

And that’s besides the strippers.

Then I remembered a similar post I wrote prior to SMX Social Media in New York a couple weeks ago and how it really proved fruitful in growing my network.

Here’s a case study and reasons I’ll have more success networking socially than social networking next week. While some figures are estimates, here’s a look at some key influencer stats pre-SMX and post SMX. Notice the timeframe of measurement is a month and a half for pre-SMX and just a couple weeks for post-SMX.

Influencer Comparison

What does the information tell you? The key elements for me are A) Increased trafficand B) Increased feed subscriptions which means repeat traffic. What the information doesn’t tell you, though, is the quality of that traffic. Several top bloggers within the social media, web strategy and public relations space have visited or even commented. So it’s not just networking, it’s networking with influencers. Does this mean I’ll suddenly become one? No. But if I continute to engage and participate with them in meaningful and interesting ways, it might.

Why offer this information? (Particularly considering it establishes public awareness that compared to those I’m networking with, I don’t have a great deal of traffic, subscribers or even friends … sniff, sniff.) Because it shows, to a point, the impact of networking socially at SMX Social Media had on this particular blog.

Replicating that success at Blog World Expo is a general goal and one that I think can be achieved since there will be far more people at BWE and, as mentioned, I’ve got Super Blogger and Tonto there to assist in the meet and greet. Plus, I’ll be networking with people outside the confines of search marketing, SEO and social media.

And aren’t we all Om Malik fans?

My schedule in Las Vegas includes sitting in on a combo presentation from Jeremiah Owyang and Chris Brogan, who guys I read often. My hope is that I can at least buy them a drink. Of course, considering how many times I’ve linked to Jeremiah in the last month, maybe he should buy.

And Mark Cuban is keynoting there, but getting a handshake with him is probably being monetized as we speak.

Other presenters I hope to find a second with include (In no order as the last entry, a guy I totally dig, will prove) Debbie Weil, Mike Arrington, Brian Clark, Rohit Bhargava, Andy Beal, Maggie Koran Fox, Vanessa Fox, Paul Gillin, Shel Israel, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Aaron Wall and Brian Solis.

(Sorry others, I’m not going to be gratuitous and list you all. I’d love to catch you, too.)

Then there are attendees! As far as I know, I might find Jeremy Pepper (another person whose Kool-Aid I’m glad to swig) and any other number of others to connect with.

In fact, if you are coming and I didn’t list you here, email me (jason at jasonfalls.com) and let me know.

And forking over registration fees, airline tickets and hotel room charges (Not to mention withdrawing $600 in ones, right Todd?) isn’t necessary to accomplish some great networking done socially. Perhaps the most valuable connection I made surrounding SMX Social Media was Brian Wallace of NowSourcing.com who I met for coffee right here in Louisville.

So, go ahead. Digg shout. Ampersand Twitter. Friend, poke or even super poke. You still won’t grow your blog (or your business) with out a little grip and grin.

[tags]social networking, networking, BlogWorldExpo, bloggers, influencers[/tags]

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://nowsourcing.com/blog Brian Wallace

    Hey Jason,

    Was good seeing you and thanks for the mention. Be back in town later this week.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Place hasn’t changed much, Brian. It’s colder here than before you left, though. Bring a coat.

  • Melissa King

    You mean I’m have to put down my laptop, go outside of my office and actually talk to someone face-2-face?? People still do that??

    In all seriousness, I think the social networking makes the networking socially so much easier. You already have a foundation. I used to cringe at the idea of striking up a convo with someone at those events, but now I’m armed with a little background on the individual…I can avoid most of that awkwardness. Others I speak with may think differently, but at least I don’t feel so much like the babling idiot I did when Falls interviewed me after my games in college…G-town communications major at it’s finest!

    Look forward to the freak lunch tomorrow!

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Jason

    I’d love to get drinks with you, but please, first round on me!

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    DID EVERYONE SEE THAT? HE’S BUYING FIRST ROUND. I HAVE IT IN WRITING.

    Kidding J. Thanks for stopping back by again. I’ll buy rounds 2-10.

    Oh and Melissa … You’re right. The social networking part greases the wheel, but the networking socially makes it roll. See you tomorrow!

  • http://techkeyla.blogspot.com Sujoy

    Hi Jason,

    I guess the list of social networking junkies includes me too. And yes, I must admit the fact that I stumble my posts to make my blog known, or make my posts read. Not everyone in the blogosphere has the comfort of visiting the various Blog conventions and network socially in person with other blog wizards. So, I guess, we are left with just the one choice that remains with us. The Greasing wheel simile is hilarious. May be social networking doesn’t make the wheel to roll, but yeah, gives a kickstart perhaps!

  • http://www.briansolis.com Brian Solis

    I say we get a blogger meetup going!

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Sujoy: True, conventions and the like aren’t easy for all, but there are bloggers and business people and connections right in your neighborhood. Melissa (previous commenter) and I are having lunch today. One of her colleagues, Nick, is a major league social media guy for a huge brand conglomerate. We’re just shooting the stuff over lunch, but they’re right in my backyard. You probably have some folks you can network with right where you live.

    Solis: Honored you would stop by. I’ll email for some firm time to chat and can’t wait!

  • http://www.blogwriteforceos.com Debbie Weil

    Jason,

    I look forward to meeting you! My session on corporate & CEO blogging should be interesting. It’s turned into a panel featuring heavyweight corporate bloggers from Cisco, HP, Southwest Airlines and Kodak. I’m just the moderator and am looking forward to tough questions from the audience! Please come up and say hi.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Hey Debbie! I’m greatly looking forward to it. It was one of the first sessions I signed up for since I’m advising a couple CEO’s as we speak. Can’t wait and thanks for stopping by.

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  • http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com Rohit

    Hi Jason,
    This sounds fantastic, but I’m going to have to take a raincheck this time. I haven’t had a chance to post about it yet, but I won’t be making Blogworld as the timing is a bit too close to my wife and I expecting our second little guy (any day now). As fun as Las Vegas sounds, I can’t miss my own big event here in DC … but I’ll be watching your blogs for all the coverage from the event. Have a great time and have a drink (and cigar) for me.

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  • mikeslowakei

    A really interesting point of view.Had never thought about it, speaking franklyt.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Glad to be useful. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Glad to be useful. Thanks for the comment.

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