I attended an art show Saturday. It was held in an old, three-story industrial building in Detroit. About 20 artists — working in various mediums and at all skill levels — maintain studios in the building. The open house was a lot of fun. I wouldn’t have known about the event if it weren’t for a social media connection.
One of the building’s owners is a childhood friend of my wife. They recently connected on Facebook.
I have connected with a large number of old friends online. I feel closer to many family members through social media. Otherwise, we visit once a year if we’re lucky.
Reflecting on the last six months, I realize many of the local social events I’ve attended were discovered though social media channels. These are events I would have never attended or known about if it weren’t for my online connections.
Social media has allowed me to become more in touch with the photographic community and keep up-to-date on the latest products available.
I have a photograph in Forbes magazine this month because an art buyer found a needed photo on one of my blogs. I have an article in the upcoming issue of Photomedia magazine and I’m speaking at Photo Plus Expo because of a relationship developed through Twitter.
I’m building strong bonds with clients and credibility with prospects through social media. How do I know? They tell me. People hear my name and exclaim, “Hey, I follow you.” There are few things better than a client telling me they can’t wait for my next blog post or podcast. Imagine: clients actively looking forward to my next promotion.
Social media has made my family and me more social. We are experiencing the benefits of this technology.
We participate and take action. We don’t automate our relationships. We don’t take the social out of social media.
Relationships take time to develop. We look for opportunities to strengthen the relationships earned through these platforms by being as real as we can be. We get out of the house and away from the computer to reinforce our new relationships. We shake hands. We empower others with these remarkable tools.
Social media is just like real life, only faster. There is no magic, other than the technology. The same life rules apply. Here is your chance to be a part of the larger world. You can be fake, rude, a wallflower, a marketer, a promoter, a people hater, or someone convinced that social media is just a fad. Or, you can decide to be real, authentic and participate in social media, allowing it to enhance your life.