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Social Media Buzz

Social media (and much of Internet marketing, for that matter) are effective when measured. We like to see how much interest we can generate around our ideas, services and products. We like to see which outlets and techniques get people’s attention and which ones inspire them to spread the word about how awesome our stuff is. We have all turned into our own little PR factories. The term generally applied to the resulting level of interest and chatter is buzz.

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Buzz, in social media terms, is taking our message and making it viral. Making it something that is willingly passed along because people perceive value in what you are offering, whether it’s a product, knowledge, or just information.
I am different than most with regard to social media buzz, however. Sure, I understand and even desire the idea of many people finding me so irresistibly cool and insightful that they will share my musings with their network of friends, followers and acquaintances. Since the cool part happens on few, if any, occasions (ask my kids how cool Dad is and you’ll see why my confidence in my cool quotient is wavering significantly) I have discovered something else about social media. There is a second kind of social media buzz, and it is actually the one I desire above all else.
I liken it to a runner’s high. It’s the feeling that I get when I have truly made a connection with someone through social media. I’m not talking about gaining followers on Twitter or amassing some large RSS feed. That’s not connecting with that’s simply a recognition of our paths crossing from time to time. No, I am talking about the buzz of having the opportunity to connect, dare I say meet and even shake the hand of, someone that there is likely no other way to have connected on a real level had it not been for the social Web and it’s many new avenues for introductions.
Case in point: Without divulging names and titles, I had a chance to meet someone face to face yesterday that in the Internet of even five years ago I had no business of meeting. Through a piece of information sent along by a another person in network that I trust, I was given the impetus to get in a car and drive 30 minutes to shake someone’s hand, because they were in my little ol’ city for an event that I had already left. I know that is vague, and may leave you scratching your head, but let me finish.
Because of my social “dealings,” I was able to literally start what has the chance to be a real relationship with someone of similar beliefs. Would I have ever known about these beliefs if it weren’t for my social media efforts? The answer is a definitive and emphatic “no.” As a result of these series of “events,” I walked away with a social media buzz. A high. A feeling of truly connecting with someone over a common interest of importance to us both.
No longer was I just another person who was looking for an introduction to someone I normally wouldn’t have spoken to. No, in fact I was able to approach them with a bold confidence that I wouldn’t have had before because I knew something about them of value. Something we both cared about. As a result, I walked away refreshed and renewed and experiencing a social media buzz.
It happened again as I was listening to a panel discussion and I had been made aware of another social connections need through a network. It was a fresh request and I was listening to someone on a panel that could answer the question for my friend. So I approached the panel member after, and they were very cordial—nice and helpful. I then was able to call my friend with information that I think they never anticipated. In fact, they made a joke about what took me so long to have put together a list of contacts to help them. What I get out of this? A social media buzz. A high because I helped someone of like mind.
So, if you are a person who seeks a rush or a high, don’t look to poisonous sources of that heightened state of being. Go get a social media buzz by helping someone today. Oh, and if you do this expecting something in return, you’ll get the thing that I wouldn’t wish on anyone—a social media hangover. Why? Because if you are doing something only to get something in return, then it’s not real and it’s not genuine, and it won’t work as well, if at all.
Thanks for listening. I hope you experience the kind of social media buzz I have.

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