Night Life / So the Hawaii Social Media Seminar is Thursday, April 14, and guess who they invited to speak at a breakout session on “Blogging and Tweeting for Business”? I have a feeling I’m going to screw it up, so I’ll go ahead and talk about it here, too. This isn’t the first time I’ve been invited to speak on a panel about these sorts of things, but it’s never easy. I sometimes wonder if the people organizing these events realize that some of us weren’t meant to present in person. It’s much easier to hide behind my computer or smart phone than to say things in front of a group of people. Hopefully, I’ll get my point across. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget I’m doing what I love to do: talking with people, meeting new people, sharing what I know and learn. The whole social media thing is actually kind of hilarious because it’s actually the same exact thing as real life. Companies want the quickest way to get followers, but you don’t make friends like that in real life. Businesses might be able to trick people into joining a group to win a prize, but they will leave after they haven’t won. Individuals might be able to force new people into following them, but they will just ignore or hide the content if it’s too self-serving, braggy or not applicable to their own lives. This is the opposite of what smart business people are looking for anyway. You might be able to trick people into following you or friending you, but why force the issue if people aren’t into what you have to say?
The best way to deal with social media is to treat it as an extension of your true self. Not who you want to be, not who you think people want you to be. People who want to do well in social media should focus on making their content and interactions with people fun, and most importantly, real. Just like in real life, they should develop real relationships with people over time. I get asked how I have thousands of people following me on Twitter and have almost maxed out my friends on Facebook, and my answer is the truth: I’m a social person. Most of those people are people I’ve met and stay in contact with. The Internet just allowed me to extend myself threefold. There was never a time when I cared who followed me or who I was friends with, but you can bet I put a lot of time into my content. The same goes with my blog. When I didn’t know how to use Google metrics, I had no idea who was reading. It wasn’t until people I didn’t know would come up to me and say, “I love your blog” that I started to get the idea. Now with WordPress, I know it’s thousands of people, but I still write it like I’m talking to one person, my best friend.
We’ll see if I can hack it (haw haw). I’m going to be among the best of the best as far as blogging and the Internet goes. If it goes to hell, at least we have the weekend. There’s more Japan fundraising, including a group effort on Hotel Street with our favorite bands donating their time and our favorite shops donating prizes. It’s not easy to pull together events with so many moving pieces, but this is the second fundraiser that model, hairstylist and mommy Mahina Boersma has done. It’s great to see everyday people working hard for charity. It’s when your efforts come from your heart that people really respond.