I’m always surprised and feel a bit embarrassed when I get mentioned or referenced in posts. For one, I’m no celebrity or famous person, and second, I feel that there are so many smart and insightful people that I look up to and interact with that are more deserving of being mentioned. So I feel very honored and humbled to be mentioned in two recent posts, and even more so because I feel that both posts are the result of the philosophy that I try to stick to on social media, which is to genuinely participate in conversation and be active.
I know it sounds really simple, and to me it is. The core of it all is building relationships. When I first started on social media it reminded me of my first day at elementary school in the playground. I had no friends and everyone else seemed to know each other already. I had two choices, go up and meet people and ask to play, or stand along the wall by myself and hope someone noticed me. I decided to go and ask other kids if I could play. And I had to repeat the process over and over until the other kids and I became real friends. But it doesn’t stop there. The friendship expanded to include hanging out and playing outside school too. That, in a nutshell, is how I see social media, it’s just that the building of the relationship begins virtually. But that doesn’t mean the rules for relationships change. The relationship still needs to be nurtured and worked on.
The first blog post, Being a Brand Ambassador, is by my friend Ted Setla, who I started to converse with when I was at Sony, and I really appreciate what he said in his blog. At Sony, I made an effort to try and be conversational from the brand. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. Answering people from all over the globe at all different times of the day with all different types of questions is tough. And users expect brands to respond on social media. I made the effort to try and respond to as many people as I could because I wanted everyone who interacted with the brand to think positively of it. I figured that the social media interaction might be the only interaction that users might have with the brand, and however they came away feeling from that interaction, would be how they thought of the brand moving forward. That philosophy led me to interacting with Ted online and then eventually meeting him in person. It also led to becoming a staunch Sony ambassador and advocate. It’s why I don’t understand why brands choose to hand over their social media management responsibilities to inexperienced people or those who don’t have a personal social media presence at all.
The second post, 70 Rising Social Media Stars, is by Mark Schaefer, and I was really surprised by the mention. I am extremely grateful to have been picked by a panel of social media leaders to be on this list with other people who I recognize and have the utmost respect for. I feel that it would be really arrogant of me to consider myself to be a rising star, but I am thankful to those that felt that I was deserving enough to make the list. I had a chance to meet Mark in person when he and I were in Orlando for different events, and I just tried to sit there and soak in all of the knowledge and advice that Mark was giving. It was very apparent to me that Mark placed a high value on the building and nurturing of relationships both online and in person. Everything that I did with Sony on social media was fueled by the belief that building relationships was most important. And everything I do on social media personally is fueled by the same belief. If I made this list because of what I’ve done on social media, then I can only assume that my belief or philosophy is right, or at least working. And I don’t plan on changing that.
My thanks and gratitude to both Ted and Mark for including me in their posts. I really appreciate it guys!