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Yet another post where I make some crazy link with social media because clearly I have no life. For real, ya’all. I have an overt obsession with this stuff.

August 21, 2009

concert_shoe

Shoe: Concert Shoe. Note:Yes I know this is a man’s shoe. All will reveal itself as you read.

Last week, I had coffee iced tea with Tim, a dear friend of mine. We were discussing his recent venture in Colorado, eight-week long music festival for some of the most talented musicians in the country.

colorado_1

One of the reasons he was so inclined to pursue this program was for the networking opportunity it would offer him. These musicians will become some of the most influential in their industry, and having such an intense program for these promising individuals will help them form the basis for many of their future job leads.

This festival fostered authentic interpersonal relationships between members in the same industry.

(Here’s the part where I make the connection between coffee iced tea and social media):

…So this conversation gets me thinking about social media. I personally am of the framework that social media is meant to enhance the capability for interpersonal interaction, not replace it. Tim has laid the groundwork for use of social media. He was telling me how since the orchestra festival had concluded, everyone has been befriending each other on Facebook and writing on each other’s Facebook walls.

I just wanted to give Tim a standing ovation for this perfect demonstration of the correct way to conduct social media relationship building. Of course, I recognize that there are some difficulties (i.e., propinquity), that surround having ‘real-life’ interpersonal interactions. Life is not without its complications.colorado_2

But here’s why I’m applauding Tim. Companies need to look to his example and recreate these gold standards with our constituencies when building our networks:

1. Being Authentic: Tim’s NBF’s (new best friends) were formed through a genuine passion for the music industry. They were all true to their roots and passions and by being true to oneself, we can better surround ourselves with those who have similar passions.

2. Storytelling: Imagine as if you’re conversing with your friends. You’re not *selling* what you do, you’re *telling* what you do. Communicating your story should enhance your audience’s perception of your personality alongside your knowledge about your profession. Just communicating with your audience, you will humanize your personal brand and become more respected and valued by your constituency.

3. Interpersonal relationships: If you want to use social media, use the tools to enhance the relationships you already have and foster genuine connections with new people.

4. Eliminating the “we/they” dichotomy: If you’re genuinely interacting with people, you are able to drop the “preaching” element of your story, and it’s an easier story to tell. What your network says to you should be as important (if not more important) as what you communicate to them. Ideally, you would want to respond and engage in open dialogue.

Ultimately, this list has one overarching theme: being true to oneself.

1.) To be authentic and 2) engage people via storytelling that 3) builds interpersonal relationships that 4) eliminate the we/they dichotomy, we must not lay an idea of who we want to be on top of our pre-existing personalities, we must live who we are.

Tim, congratulations on pursuing a field that embodies your true personality. You’re bound to reach your dreams by following what it is you are passionate about.

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