Offline Connection: Making Social Media Work

In my fun little city of Columbus, Ohio, we are fortunate enough to have our own local social network. Cbusr.

Cbusr is not overly complicated. You get your profile to let everyone know who you are, you can check out other people listed, you can split your search up by niche if you happen to need to find someone for hire, and you can tweet with the #cbusr hastag on Twitter and it will show up on the main feed of Not the mention the user interface is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Check out the users page here.

But why is Cbusr successful? What makes this social network different and kept from the crash-and-burn result of most other social contenders?

It’s as simple as a little phrase that says “I would like to meet you.”

On each of the users’ profiles you will see three options under their picture to answer the question Have you met? And they are:

  • Yes, we have!
  • I would like to meet
  • No, we have not

Checking that middle button opens up a lot of possibilities as you extend an invitation to grow a real relationship. But this is only the beginning of what makes this site work.

Every once in awhile on the top menu bar, you will see an Events tab. This tab is only there when Cbusr has planned a large event for anyone to attend, and they will display the event information and a chance to RSVP.

By hosting community events, Cbusrs have an opportunity to meet with the people they’ve found online. “I would like to meet you” is not just another “let’s get coffee sometime.” is making sure that people get the opportunity to connect in real life in order to grow the relationships that it started online.

The reason Cbusr is successful is because they are focusing on the feature that makes social networking work: Offline Connection.

When was the last time you asked someone you’ve known online for some time to Skype? Or met a local Twitter user for lunch? Or joined a meetup organized in your area?

If you want all your social media efforts to work, successfully growing your business, you have to build upon your online relationships offline. Put a real face to the profile picture. Show the personality behind the writing.

Get out from behind the computer because people don’t work with brands, they work with people.