Go ahead and admit it. You have “friends” on your Facebook page that you have never even met. Don’t feel bad, we all do. But regardless of whether you are “friends” with someone or not, the important distinction comes with the word “connection,” as opposed to “friend.” I have some very deep, transcendental connections and relationships with the important people in my life. That is a given. Through the magic of social media, we are acutely aware that we are able to connect and stay connected with people like never before. But there also exists an interesting sidebar to the idea of connecting through the magic of social media.
I am referring to the unexpected connections that have resulted almost entirely by accident. (I hope that you have experienced this too and will share those experiences with me). These are mostly random connections with people who we have never met, but nonetheless we share something in common with them, and somehow find ourselves reading their tweets or looking at their boards on Pinterest. We are brought together due to some kind of common interest. It might be that you are both fans of the same band, or have read the same books, or that you have connected as a result of your mutual online cheering for your favorite sports team.
This has happened to me more than a handful of times in the past 6 months, and it has been very impactful.
The first was my “friend” Judy Thompson. We had done business together for a couple of years, but had only ever spoken by telephone and over email. Then one day, I noticed that she was “Liking” and commenting on many of my Facebook posts. We weren’t even “friends” at that time, but we did have a few mutual friends. So, I did a little bit of online sleuthing about Judy, and it became pretty clear that she was a safe bet and “friend” her, I did. She immediately accepted and a month or two later we agreed to meet for coffee. Upon meeting, our connection was solidified. We were able to expand on the online friendship that had begun, and now our friendship seemed a little more legitimate. This is a great example of how you can change a pseudo connection into a real one.
Then there is my new friend Bon Evans. He lives in Canada, so the likelihood of us meeting for coffee is bit unlikely at this stage. Nonetheless, we have connected through the magic of social media. You may recall the blog post that I wrote a few weeks ago where I mentioned him: “I Should be Asleep…” He found me on Pinterst, which led him to my blog. Since then we have been using all of our social media outlets and leveraging our connections to cross-promote each other. He has been posting links to my blog, my Facebook Page, and retweeting me. I have been doing the same, and it is really working! Pretty cool, right?
(For more about Bon Evans and his music, visit: tuneintobon.com)
My final example for today has to do with a social media event that I attended last week. During the event, we were asked to engage and be engaged by tweeting our way through the speaker’s presentation for a chance to win an iPad Mini. As you can imagine, I was instantly on my iPhone and tweeting like crazy and watching the scrolling screen in the front of the room that was showing the live tweets. At first, there were a lot of people tweeting. But as you might expect, many of those tweeters dropped off after a tweet or two, and the scrolling screen became dominated by 4 people. Yes, I was one of those 4 people!
It was this tweet in particular that got people talking and sending me direct messages:
What do you do that’s remarkable? You have to do something pretty cool! My cool factor is that I’m a drummer!
What happened next could only be described as a tweet-off. In rapid fire succession, we were tweeting about the speaker, the event, ourselves, each other, and boom! We were connected! I continued to connect with these 3 people throughout the week, not just through Twitter, but also on Facebook and email. They read my blog, tweeted or commented about it, and in a strange coincidence, one of my new friends turned out to be related to the owner of Ragin Cajun, which I wrote about just a couple of weeks ago.
(Please click here to read: Ragin Cajun: My Slice of Louisiana in Texas.)
For me, social media has been a complete game changer, both personally and professionally. I cannot thank my friends, connections and followers enough for their continued support. I am always blown away by the fact that so many people care about what I have to say or what is going on in my life to take the time to “Like,” comment, tweet, retweet, repost, etc.
Finally, the photo that appears at the top of this post is actually of me around age 7. I was quite the little magician back then, and years later, you might say that I still have a few tricks up my sleeve!