A friend of my husband’s asked me about how he could get into blogging and other social media. Of course I was flattered that he even found my posts to be worthy of admiration, but then it got me thinking about how much I suck at social media.
The social media scene is a lot like high school cliques. (In fact, in the recent St. Louis Riverfront Times Web Awards were called the “Point and Clique” awards, a fitting name for a world that often feels like a clique.) The most popular bloggers are either moms regaling readers with tales of poopy diapers, PR bloggers with free giveaways, people who want to teach you “how to do” social media, or bloggers who blog about blogging and how awesome they are at being a blogger.
I try not to take myself as seriously as these people do. My favorite bloggers are the ones who don’t have an agenda. They’re just people who like to tell stories. My day job is all about social media and strategic marketing communications. So, when I get to blog for fun on my own, I really don’t plan out what I am going to write. I just throw up on my keyboard and hope that something good comes of it. Note: I like that last sentence. I’m going to trademark it and use it on my business cards from now on.
So here are the 3 things I have learned from social media over the past few years:
1) Free swag is king. When did we writers start whoring ourselves out for a free diaper bag? Now, I will admit that sometimes I am contacted by companies that read my blog posts and offer to fix a problem. But I don’t seek out stuff. I was offered a $200 watch last week and my husband was pretty annoyed that I didn’t take it. But how can I be a credible storyteller if I am getting free stuff for it?
2) Anyone can be a “social media expert.” All you have to do is add the following words to your resume, blog, profile, etc.: “social media expert, social media guru, engage, strategize, followers, SEO, ROI.”
3) Special announcements aren’t so special anymore. The protocol for sharing special news has changed. It’s changed so much in fact that two years ago, I learned of my sister’s engagement via Facebook. Yep. My baby sister, who is closer to me than any other family member, announced she was getting married in a status update before telling me in person or over the phone.
I can’t wait to see what else I will learn.