Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Evolution of My Social Networking Consciousness

I barely got a few pages into the introduction of Marketing 2.0 Bridging the Gap between Seller and Buyer through Social Media Marketing, by Bernie Borges, when I found some inspiration for this post.

I've been sitting on a draft which gave my top 3 reasons for using Twitter, but wanted to reach deeper. What's more important than a mere declaration of "Why I Like Twitter" may be talking about how I came to become aware of Twitter & how that new lens on the world has changed me as a person and a marketer. You could say it was a single step in the evolution of my social media & social networking consciousness.

My job layoff, which became official in January of 2009 meant I was thrust into a search for relevant information & adult conversation.  I've posted before about how this manifested in my role as a SAHM, but first I had to be engaged in my role as a job seeker.

In order to find a job, in this day & age, you rely on generating leads from your contacts, not unlike a sales process.  I had already been in the habit of keeping up with old friends and co-workers, long before it was the fashionable thing to do.  True networking, however, means generating new contacts outside of your circle. I made the conscious decision to open a Twitter account in March of 2009 & thus my handle contains 032009. I originally protected my tweets, but at the advice of @debbieweil , who DM'd me after I followed her and said I'd "get much more mileage out of Twitter that way..." I quickly unprotected them.  I'm so glad I did. Debbie was so right.

"And we're seeing a higher level of consciousness and many more opportunities for people to challenge their present ways of thinking and move into a grander and larger experience of who they really are."  by Neale Donald Walsch
That brings me to the Number One reason I chose twitter - Relationships, Relationships, Relationships.  I can't stress the importance of this enough ~ You can't continue to build a strong network without thinking outside of the norm and those whom you are familiar with. You also need to make a conscious effort to extend & grow those new relationships off-line, in real life (IRL) or face-to-face.

"If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness."  by Les Brown
Social sites like Twitter give you the unique opportunity to engage in conversation in real time, or pretty close to it.  That's my reason Number Two. Whatever you tweet, whether it's directed to a particular individual or to any one of your followers, if it's something that resonates, you can always count on a reaction - a reply/tweet back, a re-tweet (RT) or a direct message (DM), which is very empowering.  Whether you choose to believe it or not thousands of real life relationships have been started out there.  It's an interface like none other & it is a great platform to reveal yourself & to exhibit properties that people can connect with & engage in fluid conversations on a regular basis.

So what's reason Number Three? What do you crave? Many people crave validation around ideas, thoughts, concerns & feelings & Twitter provides an avenue to share those things & get honest feedback. As you regularly share information that's important to you with those who may have similar interests people continue to watch & see what's next.

When you build a social networking site profile you are marketing yourself and your personal brand. Defining who you are, what you represent & what you have to offer your reader is paramount. Don't think for a moment that you are not being analyzed over & over when people read your tweets, your blog from time to time, or your Twitter bio - they are. It's no LinkedIn, but your Twitter timeline is telling. It's like the reader/follower has a magnifying glass into your soul, your belief system & your social consciousness. Spend quality time fine-tuning your messages & tweeting thoughtfully. Your true colors will show and hopefully that's a good thing.

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