Putting the "I" in "Social"

By Carly Stewart

Everyone knows that Social Media is about interacting with people. It means forming connections with people to not only get them interested in your business and products but to also get them interested in you as a person to form business relationships and partnerships that will last. What they don’t always tell you, even if it seems to be an obvious point, is that in order to create these online connections through social media sites and through your marketing, you must understand people. What better way to know and understand people than immersing yourself in an environment that encourages social interaction and discussion?

This brings me to the Tucson chapter of the American Marketing Association. (AMA)  The TAMA hosts many different events through the year in Tucson where members of all different marketing backgrounds can come together and form in-person connections while learning a new topic and enjoying a catered meal.

I was greeted by smiling faces at the door asking me to sign in and get my “Vegetarian” card for the catering services; I couldn’t wait to see what was to be served.  Once again this meeting was at the Arizona Inn, a historical inn located in central Tucson.  This location is a convenient meeting spot for people all over Tucson and is also very accommodating, comfortable and has great food.

I was pretty early to the meeting so I found a seat in the center of the room and proceeded to tweet about the event, when I was greeted by a fellow marketer that works at the Tucson Airport.  While we have different job descriptions and work at two different places we both understood the importance of getting to know other attendees and forming these connections before the lecture began.   We were joined by an Arizona Daily Star executive and an Account Manager from On Media Publications.   We had just enough time to get to know each other’s backgrounds before we were asked to give the speaker our attention.

The topic of last week’s presentation was “Personal Branding- Competitive Advantages” with speaker Lisa Hromada an Assistant Art Director from Gordley Group.  She was a clear and focused speaker that was enjoyable to listen to. Her presentation was comprehensible and well organized, though some points seemed a bit obvious to me.  The topic focused on the branding of an individual as opposed to company branding which was a new topic I had yet to hear about. It is essential to brand yourself positively not only to represent your company but also to build esteem around your name.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics found based on a study of baby boomers that people between the ages of 18 to 46 hold an average of 11.3 jobs. (Source) Because of this it is important to think of not only how you represent your company but how you represent yourself, on and offline.  One thing that I took away from the presentation is that it is important to have a job where you are constantly learning and improving your skills, not just to do well at your job but to gain valuable experience that can be applied to things later in life. 

Overall the meeting was an enjoyable experience. Hromada wrapped up just as I took my last bite of cheesecake and they cleared the plate from my delicious rice and veggie medley. An FAQ session began and Hromada answered all questions with grace. The ladies I sat with and I all exchanged business cards and wished each other well. 

Social media is about more than just advertising your company so stop tweeting and get out there and meet people.