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Social Media: Stop, Look and Listen

March 10, 2010

Author: Hailey Cobb

So, when my fabulous and dearest friend Genevieve launched her blog, “Joie De ‘Vieve,” and asked me to be her first “celebrity guest blogger” I couldn’t have been more flattered. After learning I was going to be writing for the section “Why I love social media” I was faced with the daunting task of expressing why I have become a strong advocate for everything social media has to offer.

I have a loving relationship with social media for an array of reasons. Some professional. Some personal. But, the most important reason is that I appreciate and have a passion for any interaction with people, companies, brands and events. If you know me, you know I’m a communicator – hello, I work in PR people!

And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what social media is all about? The interaction?

Like all kids my age, my journey with social media began in college with Facebook. Since then my passion and curiosity has led me to experiment with and successfully utilize other platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare and FlickR. Before I knew it, Jason Keath (@jakrose) and Nathan Richie (@nathanrichie) were making me (literally, making me) speak at a Social Media breakfast in Charlotte on my experiences venturing into this unchartered territory. I will admit that some of my experiences have been good. Some…not so good. I have learned that it is all about trial and error.

What I can say is that when my experiences have been good, they’ been really good. One example that stands out is the role I played in successfully helping the Quail Hollow Championship (@quailhollow) jump into the social media pool last year. There are several contributing factors that made the launch of the Quail Hollow Championship social media successful. One reason being, the event was already established and branded in the community, region and the country. Picking up followers and fans is less daunting when people are eager to hear what you have to say. If you think your brand, event or company does not have something to offer to the social media space, I’d say you haven’t really done your research. There is a niche for just about everything on social media – which Genevieve pointed out very well in a previous post. You don’t have to be a top-tier sporting event to get people interested in what you have to say (at least from my experience). You just have to listen to them and learn what it is they find interesting, exciting, compelling and then capitalize on that.

Taking the good in with the bad, I think experiences are what these social media spaces are all about. I always tell people that when it comes to social media you get what you give. So, if you’re just starting out, give it some time and energy. Yes, it can be overwhelming at first. But you do have the ability to control what you’re seeing. If you’re a seasoned vet, give it some thought-provoking, retweet-worthy, belly-laughing stories, pictures, music and video. Give whatever you have to offer because when it comes to social media, everyone is listening and experiencing and I, for one, don’t like to be left out.

Happy Tweeting/Facebooking/blogging/battling to be mayor on Foursquare/sharing!

-hailey-

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