A Social Media Neophyte

As a social media neophyte, I was a little overwhelmed and not exactly sure what I was getting myself into. I signed up with Twitter but why? Why would people care what I was up to, or what I ate for breakfast? I almost felt as if I was wandering down a path of extreme narcissism ‘” am I that important that I must tweet about the mundane things that I do and expect people to get excited about it?

After attending the Social Media Tulsa Conference (#SMTulsa), it all made sense to me. The conference started off with the request not to turn our phones off. Here we were a room full of people with various “toys” (as I call them) ranging from the iphone, the ipad, the smartphone, the blackberry, and laptops, tweeting like our very lives depended upon it. Everyone was sharing fascinating information about networking through social media, and how a small town connection holds the secret to social media success in business. The information we were collectively sharing at that very second was being sent to thousands of people all around the world. I was having a hard time keeping up with my constant stream of tweets, as all of the speakers were providing us with fascinating details of their success stories in the social media arena.

As a customer service consultant and writer, I have learned how to make use of social media tools to expand my horizons and gain a different perspective. There are many things I have read about that have interested me and inspired my writing. Social media has also allowed me to remain current on industry information ‘” many companies I follow on Twitter post information about new promotions, new outlets, response to customer complaints and so forth. You can really get the pulse of an organization if they are truly utilizing the many social media tools that are available.

I have made many mistakes in my use of social media. I used to view it as a quick way to advertise my services and products. Sure, social media helps us with implementing a brand identity to the public, but unless you connect with your audience, they will simply not care who you are and what you do. Social media is doing business the old fashioned way with exciting new gadgets. In the past, when I worked as a sales manager, I would not immediately ask someone to book their convention at my hotel; I took the time to develop a relationship with a customer so they would feel comfortable placing their trust and event in my care. Through social media, relationship building has rocketed into warp-speed. In many cases, details about a service provider is read online and digested by the consumer before they have even had their breakfast for the day (and most likely tweeted about it!)

Touching someone’s life seemed to be the theme that continued throughout the day ‘” how a tweet or a blog may inspire someone to take action against a wrongdoing, improve how they may treat another person, or simply make someone smile. Social media is important as we now live in an immediate society. Remember when connecting with a friend meant writing a letter, putting a stamp on it and mailing it out, then waiting for a response in maybe two to three weeks? How often do you do this today? Social media has brought us closer to family, friends and the consumer, making the world a smaller place.