September 11, 2014
A little over a month ago, I challenged a co-worker to take a hiatus from social media, specifically Twitter. My goal was to have him reconsider the way he leverages social media and recalibrate his perception of the value his social activity garners, both for himself and others. Also, one might say this person has a slight addiction to social, considering his voracious favorite-ing “strategy” on Twitter that clocks in at about 65 favorites per day, along with about 17 unique daily tweets for good measure. If you’re a member of DCTECH then by now you know I’m talking about the one and only Maxim Leyzerovich, a.k.a. @duqe. To be honest, I’m a bit of an over-sharer myself, though nothing like my friend Max; I thought he and I could both use some time off from our favorite online platforms to explore other ways we could interact with our networks. Here’s what I was reminded of when I unplugged from Social Media for a month.
1. Email Still Matters: Without Twitter and Facebook to get in the way, I decided that I would be more proactive about following up with clients and potential clients via email. However, with a few thousand contacts to manage and more than a dozen active client leads to consider, I figured it was time to apply some technology to my approach; I signed up for Contactually. In the simplest terms, Contactually manages your contacts and tells you when you’re doing a bad job about following up with your most valuable connections. Prior to using Contactually, I thought I was pretty good about keeping up with people and managing my inbox. Turns out I was wrong. I’m apparently below average for my industry when it comes to keeping in touch, and in the process of setting up Contactually, I discovered I had dropped the ball on following up with some important leads.
2. Create Real Content: Social Media, by design, is meant to be a quick interaction that has a very short window of relevance. When we default to something like Twitter as our primary channel to express ourselves, the content we’re pushing into the world becomes rather “thin” very quickly, simply because of the limitation of what can be expressed in 140 characters. My go-to content creation channel is blogging. On Tech.co I write posts that offer up my experiences as an entrepreneur, while my hobby blog, RandomNerds.com, is a great place for me to be a full-fledged nerd and talk about my passions outside of business, though I’m a professional nerd so there is plenty of cross-over. Using these channels, I produce deliberate and thoughtful pieces of content that allow me to express myself while connecting with you, the readers. Twitter is still one of my favorite places to meet new people, but being a regular blogger has helped me to connect with so many people I would have never known. For example, my most popular post was written over 2 years ago and still receives comments on it from all over the world. If you’re not creating real content, then you aren’t saying anything meaningful; find your channel and express yourself.
3. You Must Go Outside and Play: Close your laptop, power your tablet down, and go meet some people. Seriously. Over the last month I made a concerted effort to attend more events and meet new people. I think that Social Media gives us the false impression that we are meeting people so we can skip a meet up or two because, hey, you tweeted at a bunch of people. I love social media, I love Twitter… but I love people more. Twitter is a great place for volume interactions, but real life collisions with new people will always be more meaningful. If you don’t want to slow down on social media why not pick some friends on Twitter you’ve never met IRL (in real life) and invite them to have a cup of coffee. You might find out that those tweeps are worth a lot more to you than just a favorite or retweet.
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