personal connection

Social Media : What's it all about


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Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Google +….  the list of social media platforms people talk about seems endless. Wading into the world of social media can seem daunting; many feel they just aren’t of the generation that “get it”.

Although getting involved with social media may seem overwhelming, there are many reasons making the leap are worthwhile.

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Your friends, family and kids are online.  By being on Facebook you will keep up to date with people you don’t have the time to keep up with regularly and know more about what is going on in the lives of people that you DO keep in touch with.

The sharing of photos, news and ability to support has never been as easy with the people you already know as they have been since Facebook has grown to what it is today. Don’t miss out on what is there, even if you don’t want to share a lot of your own personal information on the site.


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A great myth when it comes to social media is that it takes people away from real life interactions. The opposite is often true, with social media helping people to find communities that they then bring into their real lives.

Through Facebook pages and groups, Twitter, and Linked In groups, people are able to find groups of people within their own cities to get to know and then become friends with. Great examples include groups for new mothers, parents, weight loss support groups, and business groups such as Chambers of Commerce.


People now expect to be able to find a business online.

If someone looks for a business online and finds it on Facebook, they can choose to “like” the business, thereby sharing this opinion with their friends. If that business isn’t findable, the business has just lost the opportunity to reach out to new people who are likely in the same demographic as that person. This is the kind of targeted marketing that can’t be bought. The key message is that people will be looking so businesses need to be there when they do.

The opportunities from the consumer standpoint is to find out what is going on with businesses they believe in, to endorse companies they believe in and to build relationships with those businesses.

Regardless of the reason, social media is a place to build relationships and engage in a way with friends, family, businesses and potential friends in a way that has never existed before.

I challenge you to jump in and test out the waters, you may be surprised at how easy it is and how much you like it!

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Twitter: why I care what you had for lunch

Twitter has a reputation… one for being a place that people talk about the details of their lives… to excess.

“Why would I care what anyone had for lunch? I don’t have time for that!?”

My argument is “I totally care” and here’s why:


The Internet is huge but the majority of the people I tweet with are in the same city, or at least province as me. If they have lunch at a great restaurant and they tweet it, I now know about that great restaurant. It’s nice to know.


There are an enormous amount of us, at all times, Internet or not, who are trying to be healthier. Tweet out a healthy lunch, share your ideas, trade recipe ideas. So many of us are always struggling without our meal plans, it’s useful to know.


Sharing details of your life make you seem like a real person. You may talk about social media, photography, law or anything else most of the time, but telling me that you never expected to love pickled eggplants on your pastrami sandwich just made you a real person to me. Being a real person makes you someone I won’t feel intimidated responding to. Being comfortable responding to you makes you more likely to become part of my online community. Online community is gold.

Don’t think I’m advocating incessant tweeting about every last detail of your life, but next time someone says “Nobody cares what I had for lunch” or “nothing I would have to say would be of value” maybe this will make you realize that just isn’t true!

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Personal vs Personable

One of my number one tips for success in the social space is to engage with others as a person. Don’t just broadcast information, you need to interact, respond, and be friendly.

In direct response, one of the biggest reasons I hear from people about not wanting to get onto the social web is that they don’t want to share their personal information online. Here is my response:

You don’t have to be personal to be personable.

If you don’t want to give out any personal information online, you can do that and still be friendly and engaging.  You can share information you find interesting, you can give your commentary on something someone else has said, you can even say you’ve tried a certain restaurant or kind of food without ever giving out the kind of information you feel is inappropriate to have online.

You do it all the time.

Think about the countless conversations you’ve had at networking events, at work, or in line at the grocery store - people have friendly encounters regularly without really divulging anything too personal about themselves.  This is especially true in work settings.  Transfer this to the online space and you can build relationships that are professional in nature while still building that personal connection that makes networking so important in just about every industry.

Trust your gut.

There are people who share nothing and there are people who over-share - this is true offline as well as online.  Decide what feels right for you and go with it.  Some people are fine with sharing personal information about their families and pastimes and that’s ok. Some aren’t, and that’s ok too.  Being true to yourself is what’s most important online and is what will make the experience as authentic and enjoyable as possible.

Do you worry about the information you share online? Does it stop you from participating?