Socializing is more than Social Media
After work last night I went down to Mark's gallery showing in the Pearl. I wouldn't have been aware of it if he hadn't sent me a direct message on Twitter telling me about it, and I probably would have been less likely to go execept for the fact that we've met at a number of Beer and Blog events.
I also wandered over to Eve's pastel exhibit a few blocks away. Although Eve and Michael are good friends whom we see frequently, I knew about the event because of being on her email list. Again, I get lots of these kinds of invites, but when your friends invite you to their art opening, you go.
After hooking up with some friends for drinks, we ended up at Whiffies. Whiffies is in a food cart corral in SE Portland; they fry small pies while you wait -- amazingly good street food at part of what makes Portland great. And a place I would never have darkened had I not met the owner, followed him on Twitter, and was subtly reminded to visit as I saw his postings slide by my screen along with others talking about how much they love Whiffies.
Great thing about that food corral is that I always seem to run into people I know online, but don't see very often in person. Heck, last night I ran into a woman who was incredulous that I was even on Twitter, and it turned out we were already following each other. Now we know.
Which brings me to the title of this posting -- social media, or social promotion, works a hell of a lot better if you actually have some kind of social connection with your online connections. It doesn't have to be close friends like Eve and Michael, but it helps if you meet your potential fans or promoters like Mark.
Sure, there are other ways to build those connections (hey, it's one of the reasons I blog), but I think the piece marketers are missing is that if you really want social promotion to work, you can't just exepect mindless compliance with your message -- you have to add a bit of humanity and a little socializing into the mix.