A different kind of social media

When I picked up the mail yesterday, tucked in with the bills and business correspondence was a hand-written note from the proprietor of a small shop where I’d recently made a purchase.  And in an age when even birthday greetings arrive via e-mail, this personal note really got my attention.  It also reminded me of a time, not so long ago, when social niceties were the norm rather than the exception.

Maybe because high-tech communication seems to fill every moment of our lives and social niceties are few and far between, we increasingly hunger for a little high-touch … like personalized notes.

And this is where small businesses have the opportunity to establish the impression … and the reality … that we are more personable than our larger competitors.

Properly done, a handwritten note says to your client or customer that you’ve taken time to see her or him as an individual and that you value them as a friend as well as a customer.

So, if you’re looking for a way to break through the clutter of electronic communication, try to send a few hand-written notes … welcome a new client, thank a customer for a recent transaction, follow up on lunch or a conversation with a colleague.

Instant electronic communication is a wonderful thing, and I’ll continue to use them all every day.  But electronic words are transient at best … a click of the mouse and they’re gone forever.

On the other hand, well-chosen words, hand-written on paper will be a lasting presence in our lives.