I remember signing up for a Facebook account a little over two years ago and thinking that I’d probably not use it that much. At first, I’d log on about once a week to check messages or new friend requests. Then, I began to connect with old friends that time and distance had separated us and now, I use it as a way to keep up with work, friends, and get updates on my son’s best buddy who is at St. Jude receiving treatment for a brain tumor. Boy, how things have changed! Now, I can be found on Twitter (always connected through my phone) and checking Facebook much more regularly.
As my list of friends grew, I found it difficult to keep up with my personal friends, family, and work related connections. Eventually, I opened up a Facebook page for my consulting business to keep track of the more than 4,000 clients I had encountered in the 6 year period and would request to friend me on my personal page (I was working part time). About a year and a half ago, I began blogging through Super Glue Mom and that led me to learn social media at a speed and intensity I didn’t expect. I opened up a Twitter account for Super Glue Mom and a Facebook page to share my posts and keep track of my Super Glue relationships. Six months later, I reserved a Facebook page and a Twitter account for MOMables. Is it a lot to manage? sure, but thanks to my phone, Tweetdeck and my external monitor it’s become more manageable.
I’ve read several posts and reports on the dangers of spending too much time on social media and how it can have an impact on developing relationships in real life. While I can buy the theory that allowing teenagers to be on Facebook and Twitter for long periods of time can affect how they relate and communicate with people; social media has had the opposite effect on me. On twitter, I met Allison and that led to finding a roommate to MOM2.0Summit and I am now a regular contributor at aMomKnowsBest.com.
Six months ago, I linked up with Ted Rubin on Twitter and his social media expertise has helped me navigate and gain insight through the new world I had entered. Ted is the #1 CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) on Twitter for several reasons. But most importantly, he provides useful content, engages with his Twitter followers and truly “gets it” when it comes to connecting with people through social media. A few months ago, I mentioned to Ted how impressed I was with the E.L.F cosmetic brushes and some make up items I had purchased at Target (he was previously E.L.F. Cosmetic’s CMO), and he sent me a 141 piece make up collection I am completely addicted to. If that wasn’t enough, he also sent me an entire boxed collection of Clinique Mascara. Talk about making a woman feel better instantly! But seriously, that’s not why over 54,000 of us follow Ted on Twitter… he has coined the term Return on Relationship where he stresses that brands need to focus on building relationships with its advocates first; and in return, it will lead to a greater return on investment. You can watch a short video here.
As I continue to learn more about social media, I realize the importance of “connecting” with my audience by listening to their needs and providing them with the solutions they have been seeking. Sometimes, it’s not about knowing the answer… but connecting them with people that can provide it. Maneuvering through this digital world does take time but the payoffs are great. Considering that MOMables is an online business launching this fall, I will rely more than ever on my ability to network and connect with people whose needs I can meet. I mean, who doesn’t need fresh lunch ideas after the third week of their kids going back to school? I know I do! (hop on over to MOMables on FB to get news from inside the lunchbox).
If you’ve been thinking that social media is about posting what you did yesterday and attaching a picture to your Facebook wall, think again. Thousands of brands are flocking to this medium to connect better with their clients through online interaction. Entire social media departments have been created and thousands of jobs added. In this fast paced, information overload, 30 second elevator speech world… people are embracing all that social media has to offer. I am still learning about Klout scores, what exactly is Google+ and whether or not I want to use it and how to manage my commitments and the time I spend on social media. How are you managing your social media efforts? Have you found social media beneficial for your personal life and/or business?