For some time I’ve really wanted to write a post about some of my remarkable experiences from my participation in Social Media. Early on I was a skeptic and took small steps to begin my journey in the use of Microblogging (i.e. Twitter), Blogging, Facebook, Empire Avenue and others. But now, 18 months later, I’m a believer in the bottom-line value of participation in this new media and in the overall principles upon which it’s founded. At the risk of sounding very pretentious I want to encourage others to participate and experience this incredible power for themselves.
In my approach I separate the “social media tools” from the “foundational principles” as the foundational principles will endure longer than any specific tool set. The principles are what gives social computing its power whether applied inside or outside the enterprise.
So I’ve put off writing this for way too long, partially because when I would get the writing bug I’d have another amazing experience! Consequently, this catalog of experiences / anecdotes will be a living post and will grow over time as I add to it. I’ve shortened the items out of interest for space and to spare the reader, but I really enjoy telling the full story. Drop me a comment or a tweet or ask me when we meet in person (!!) and I’ll happily share more.
Why do I participate so fully in social media? Here’s a start:
- I created a private blog for communicating with a large group of family & friends when my 1st wife was suffering with cancer. I learned that there is tremendous depth and power in communicating through social channels. Even more importantly was the two way sharing of heart-to-heart that still affects me deeply today.
- I met my new wife online – again, applying social principles in a way I thought I would NEVER do. I thought people who dated online were foolish at best or reckless. Upon reading that first blog I had written my current wife knew I was the type of man she wanted to marry. I am forever grateful that I started that blog for many, many reasons.
- At Fresh Consulting we recruited our first outside hire as a college student via Twitter. The firm where she interned provided a reference for her via Twitter as well.
- We’ve hired another recent college graduate where our initial connection was a personal one also from Twitter.
- A Chief Marketing Officer from a local firm invited me to a Tweetup soiree at the Space Needle. We met there, found out we have a common work history and have maintained a friendship ever since. This month he extended an invitation for me to accompany him to a Seattle Mariners game – just he and I – and I had an incredible time with great baseball and a conversation I’m still processing as he is a natural mentor for me and many others.
- Our largest 3 clients to date all came through social channels and these three clients are a huge part of our revenue.
- I’ve connected online and in person with new friends, top business leaders and even some famous people you would easily recognize.
- One of my all-time top authors, speakers, influencers is Keith Farrazzi – author of Never Eat Alone & Who’s Got Your Back. I’ve met, eaten and conversed with him and he’s very genuine. Our initial connection was online.
- One of my Twitter connections sent 2 chocolate bars to our family from Switzerland (oh my goodness!!).
- I’ve met other social types and we held a conference, hosted by Microsoft, at their Redmond Conference Center and attended by participants from 10 states and audiences joined in from around the globe. That’s right – we first met on Twitter then organized and delivered the Social Media 201 conference in April, 2010.
- I was getting my shoes shined at Nordstrom’s and decided to take a pic with my phone and tweet about it. Sitting next to me was a gentleman who asked me why I would tweet such a thing. Turns out he’s a CEO for a large firm and he just came from a conference discussing the value of social media.
- I’ve been interviewed for 3 podcasts, several videos, been asked to mediate panels at conferences and emcee Seattle Chamber events, turned down an opportunity to appear on TV in New York (this is an interesting tale…), held Employment Seminars, Biznik workshops, been filmed for a documentary and have been asked to be the inspirational keynote speaker for one of our enterprise clients at their all-hands company meeting in Arizona in July 2010.
- Connected with and have an ongoing dialog one of my all-time favorite musicians!! See this post for the story!
- I was interviewed on July 9th for an article in Smart Money Magazine, published by the Wall Street Journal that will be printed in November, 2010.
- Connected with a producer from one of the top morning radio shows in the country and she got us onto the show in August. (!!)
- This is so adolescent of me, but I recently posted a Tweet that made a very famous business woman (and formal Sports Illustrated cover girl) laugh. We traded laughs via tweets and she now follows me on Twiiter. (I know, I know, but somehow this is very cool…and my brother is jealous as heck.)
This is just a sampling of what I could share and some of these are more detailed in other postings on this blog.
Here’s the main point – applying social principles for your business works. They work in producing real bottom-line results, brand-awareness, marketing and, most profoundly, they work in interpersonal relationships. When used correctly they are a very natural extension of who we are as people.
Please let me know about your experiences, thoughts, questions, comments or best anecdotes in the comments below.
All the best,