You Will Be Googled

From Anne Giles Clelland, Handshake Media, Incorporated, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company.

In the early days of doing business in 2012, we're not asking as we did in 2009, "Have you Googled yourself?" but stating what savvy business people think to themselves after that first word-of-mouth (WOM) referral or that first handshake of introduction: "I will Google you."

A version of I Will Google You first appeared on Handshake 2.0.

In the physical world of business, "It's who you know" begins introductory handshakes that can lead to handshakes on deals.

In the online world of business, "It's still who you know" begins a knowledge-based consideration of a handshake. But how to get known? We founded Handshake 2.0 with "It's still who you know" as a tagline to assist good companies in sharing good information about their good companies to help them get known well.

Anne GooglingWe may need to change Handshake 2.0's tagline to this: "It's still who you know – and it's what they know."

If someone in my "It's who you know" network introduces me to you for that introductory handshake and the first impression was a good one, I will return to my office and Google you.

I will Google your name, your company's name, your name + your company's name, your company's name + your industry, etc.

Why am I using Google to get to "know" you? Two reasons.

1) I want to decrease business risk.

I want to see what's online about you to learn that you are who you say you are, that your company truly exists, and that what you say about yourself and what others say about you match my impression. The more due diligence-based trust I can place in you and your corporate practices, the less risk I take.

2) I want to increase competitive advantage.

I am finding Shoshana Zuboff's assertion in The Support Economy to be increasingly true: there are two economies, one in the physical world, one online, and my company needs to operate strategically in both. I Google you to learn that your company is operating competitively in its industry both online and off. I want to learn that doing business with your company would be good for my company.

When I find your company's site, I'm glad to see Twitter and Facebook icons, but I click or tap through to see how active you are in social media. I look for the quantity and quality of your activity. My company needs your company to be participating in "both economies." If you're not competitive in one whole economy, that makes doing business with you less advantageous than doing business with someone who is competitive in both.

Handshake 2.0 is an enterprise of Handshake Media, Incorporated and as Handshake Media's representative, I will be extending handshakes of greeting in both the physical and online worlds of business in 2012. I look forward to meeting you. I will return to my office later and Google you. If we're at a business luncheon and the meeting is boring, with my smartphone, I won't wait. Within minutes of meeting you, I'll be Googling you.

Photo: Dan Smith


Handshake Media, Incorporated is a communications company specializing in public relations and mobile technologies to generate market awareness and market action for its businesses-to-business and business-to-consumer clients. Handshake Media creates both the method and the message to achieve meaningful engagement and conversation for corporations, organizations and enterprises seeking global reach for their products and services. Handshake Media, Incorporated is based in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA and is a member of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership. Handshake(R) mobile applications are produced and developed by Handshake Media, Incorporated.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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