Thursday, July 15, 2010

Figuring out Social Media

I attended a Girls In Tech “Click” event which coincidently was the same day I finished reading Brian Solis’ book, Engage. Here are my thoughts…

Now that I can call myself a PR professional I have to say that the way social networking was in college was completely different. I thought I was savvy I thought I knew Twitter and Facebook… but, I know oh so very much now! Twitter was used on a personal level and now it’s become my professional portal to connect with reporters and various members in the industry.

For those who are not currently getting down and dirty in the world of twitter, Solis makes a great point, “Business will evolve, customers will gain in prominence, and brands will humanize – with or without you.”

I couldn’t have realized this more than I have in the last seven months. By engaging in social media, facebooking genuine and real queries to those who can provide me with thoughtful answers, I’ve been able to get the answers I want.

At the Girls to Tech Event in San Francisco yesterday co-author, Ori Braffman, discussed the psychological and biological occurrences when a networking connection is made.

He cited a study where three women attended a 20 session seminar. The first woman only attended five times, the second 10 times and the third 20 times. All three women were told not to talk to anybody and sit in the back of the seminar. When other audience members who attended the seminar nobody remembered any of the women however they thought (through "subconscious connection") that the woman who attended all the sessions was the nicest.

I’m a fervent believer that a good PR professional knows (or will one day know) when s/he is becoming a pest. Only making connections when the particular PR individual needs something and offering nothing in return. When speaking to David Gelles, reporter at the Financial times who owns the Social Media beat, he said he simply wants to meet somebody who has something interesting to say. It shouldn’t be rehearsed and it shouldn’t be frivolous. Frankly, following David’s advice simply means you be yourself, right?

Ori discussed being vulnerable to the person you are networking with. I think this is great advice, whether in your personal or professional life if you’re genuine about your fears, your pride, and your goals the bond is strengthen. Of course, there is somewhat of a paradox to online relationships (as is mentioned in 2 Lessons from Google’s 216-Page Social Media Manifesto), “We seek information from a broad network of people, like Yelpers and blog commenters. But we want to share information with a much narrower network of people.”

I know this post was a little all over the place, but there’s a buzz of social media information floating around in my brain. I’m loving putting it into action – great way to sort it out ;)

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