Sometimes I forget I’m in this bubble of people who totally get social media and it’s power for businesses, and humans. I have met so many people through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, I’m surrounded by believers. Last night, we had an invite-only meetup for event planners in NYC. While I love meeting people online, meeting people in person is really important.
When we were thinking about our guest list, I decided to get out of my comfort zone. Instead of only inviting my planner friends, I did a Google search for event planners in NYC that I didn’t know and those were the men and women we invited. We had such a good time meeting everyone and I had quite a few conversations about technology, of course.
I started a conversation with one very experienced planner. In talking about social media, she said “How do people have time for all this social media bologna, planning events, having a family and everything else??” to which my immediate response was “Well, it starts with first believing that social media is not bologna. Once you figure that out, you find the time and see the results”. But I realize it isn’t so easy. For those of you who still don’t “get” social media (and there are MANY of you out there), here are a few tips.
Create an account.
Start where you feel comfortable. Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Doesn’t matter where. Just create an account and personalize it. Add a photo, bio. Make it yours.
Look for people you want to get to know.
Just like I did a Google search to find attendees for last night, do a search for topics that interest you. Look for people who talk about things that get your attention and then watch them. See what they do. Don’t get lost in how to get them to follow you back. That’ll come.
Start a conversation.
When you go into a networking event, the most successful thing you can do is walk up to someone, introduce yourself and then spend time learning about them. It’s the perfect way to get the conversation going and people are comfortable talking about themselves. Start there and then move on to common interests.
It seems so simple because it really is. It takes time – like all good relationships. But I promise you that if you approach social media looking to learn instead of looking to market, you will find success over time. And soon – you’ll forget about bologna.