I arrived in Chicago on Sunday and already it has been a blast. From the moment, I arrived here I have been meeting so many online friends and have received hugs, kisses, and handshakes. It is amazing!

I am a huge proponent for social media and the power of engagement and learning that comes with it. However, that power or engagement has a shelf-life. At some point, there is an intrigue that leads to offline interest. You aim to get more than the 140 characters. You want to know more.

What’s the social lifecycle?

The social lifecycle is you meet online, then you engage with others on social. From the online engagement you move your relationship among the various social platforms as the relationships progress. From the consistent engagement online over time there is maybe an offline phone call, Skype session, or other mode of communication-which eventually ends in a real-life meeting when and if it is possible.

My social relationships have come full circle and are so much more meaningful now that I have shook a hand or had a conversation. Social media is a catalyst for relationships-however, eventually, the full meaning of everything you have built online should culminate into a live, breathing interaction.

I’m just one day into completing my social lifecycle and already I see the impact. From vendor relationships to meeting fellow HR bloggers, I am truly “becoming more”than an avatar, 140 characters or a blog post. I’m a person and people want to do business and/or connect with other people.

It is very easy to get caught up in social media and the ease of communicating from afar, but ultimately that gets old.

For those of you that will be stopping by “The Hive” and/or attending social media sessions for the purposes of getting started-know that it is a powerful tool, but not beginning or end of your networking or relationship building.

Make those online connections count while you’re at SHRM and complete your own social lifecycle. Use this opportunity while you are here to “become more” and make your relationships mean more.

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