I just read some articles about social computing in Switzerland. One was an interview with the CEO of Xing Switzerland, Robert Beer. He thinks, networking through social websites works a bit different in Switzerland.
One thing got me. The Swiss don’t like hard selling. If you do telemarketing, they rather tell you to send documentation then just say „Leave me alone“. I told IBM that, when we had that telemarketing campaign that failed miserably. We had quite a few people that agreed to come to an event but we had 100% no show. Why? They just wanted to be polite. (I hope someone of OnChannel reads this).
The next article was about social software in companies. They don’t use it for internal communication and only 7% of the CEO’s of consulting companies use Xing or Facebook and only 4% of the financial companies. There is no sign, that younger employees use social media lot’s more. We like to meet in person or use email. The later is common, but meeting face to face give us a good excuse for longer meetings over lunch – in Germany you can be happy if anyone thinks about buying sandwiches – and opening a nice bottle of wine. Makes selling a lot nicer. But it looks like we do something right. Switzerland has more Global 500 companies per-capita then the US and many US companies move their headquarter over here. Officially because of taxes, but we have a lot more good restaurants to drop in over lunch then anybody else. It’s obvious, that when you move here, you have to support local businesses.
You know what? I rather have 5 friends at my table and cook for them, then 500 in Facebook and all I do is small talk.