Social Media: A Beast & A Blessing

Last night, I went out for dinner with five women I never would have met without the power of social media.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty immersed in the social media world. I have an unholy love for Facebook, and its power to connect people, build communities, and provide access to more information than we ever had before. I also know that social media is a beast as well as a blessing – long hours spent sucked into the void of distraction, keyboard warriors emboldened by their anonymity and the pressure to live up to the amazing lives everyone else is having on the Internet.

We’ve all met that person who declares, (usually) somewhat arrogantly, that they don’t have any social media accounts. They they have “better” things to do with their time, and that social media is the bane of our entire societal existence. We’ve all read the blog posts condemning the mom who uses her phone at the park, or seen the memes about the meaningless of a high count friends or followers list. Hating on social media is  a popular past time, and a really easy way to feel superior to someone else.

And to some extent, they’re right. I’ve been sucked into a good online argument, or appalled at the drama, as much as anyone else. And I think there is definitely a balance we need to find between living our lives entirely in the social media spotlight, and removing ourselves from the conversation entirely.

But I want to really highlight one huge benefit of this age we’re living in, and that’s the connections. I have now met countless people I’d never have connected with otherwise if it wasn’t for the groups, conversations and interactions that social media has allowed us to have. As I considered this morning the diverse array of the women who sat around the table last night, cramming ourselves full of sushi and getting to know one another, I realized that the chances of me getting to know any of them was miniscule, if we’d been left up to the traditional, unplugged methods of introductions. I’ve written about this before on my old blog – the support and relationships that grow out of being able to find someone to talk to, to share with, or to relate to 24/7 has opened up the world for me and for many others, particularly moms of young children, who often find themselves feeling isolated and lonely.

So what does this really all mean to you, the creative business owner? I want you all to consider how your social media efforts can bring your clients together – like minded people with shared beliefs and values, who might not otherwise have a gathering place. Social media at its best is about conversation and interaction, about sharing resources and crowd sourcing solutions.  Marrying content and conversation in your social media efforts will create community around your brand – something people want to be a part of, something people will bring their friends to be a part of, too. Focusing on ways to build connections – between you and your ideal client, and between your ideal clients can help to remove some of the guesswork out of what to share, and why. Remember to only worry about the people “in the room”, those who are engaged with your content and want to be there for more. Everyone else isn’t your client. Especially the guy with no social media accounts, and better things to do with his time.

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Social Media Infusion - Summer Camp! Get your Social Media in ship and have fun doing it!

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Stephanie Ostermann

I’m the sort of girl who you meet for coffee and end up pouring your entire heart out to. The friend you come to when you need someone to call it straight. No bullshit. No extras. Just truth.

I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.

When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.

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