I've been meaning to write about this for a while, and what better time than just after a great trip to Miami for a marketing conference. I think traditionally marketers are seen as outgoing, social people who can strike up great conversations with whomever they meet. That is not me. I'm the shy girl at the party, who might hang out by the food table in the hopes of striking up a conversation about vegetable dips with an unsuspecting hungry guest.
When I first interviewed at HubSpot, I remember getting the "inbound marketing vision" from Dharmesh, our quiet genious of a co-founder. He told me how the Internet gives us opportunities to interact with people in new ways, on their own time and comfort level. While at a party, you might find him quietly standing alone on the sidelines, online he finds it much easier to write and interact on blogs and social media. There's something - and this is my $0.02 - freeing about writing your thoughts versus saying them aloud. Similarly, there's something freeing about interacting with people online versus in person.
But here's where we can take it to the next level. What I find so cool about the uninhibited social media interactions is that by the time you meet a social media connection "IRL" (in real life - social media speak LOL), you already have a relationship with them and you can jump past that awkward hi-my-name-is stage. By the time you meet in person, you're already long-time friends.
And that's exactly what happened to me this week, at the MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Summit down in Miami. At first, being the shy marketer that I am, I was a little anxious about going to the event and socializing with folks. But then I discovered that my long-time twitter friend, DJ Waldow, was going to be there. Of course! How could I forget that DJ worked for an email marketing company. From there, I discovered even more social media connections.
With the designated event hashtag, #emailsummit, all the event twitterers created a pseudo chatroom for the event on twitter. I would be sitting in a session, essentially chatting with the other twitterers about the content being presented, or about plans for that evening after the conference sessions. What was an event of 500 strangers turned into a friendly group of about a dozen twitterers.
I got to hang out with some great people this week, while of course learning all about email marketing, including: DJ Waldow, Adam Covati, Brandon Wilkins, Lucas Weber, Justin Premick, Erin Malone, GregoryNG, Big Jason, Karen Talavera, Luke, Jeff Rohrs, Judith Soto, and more. Unfortunately, there were even a few more tweeps at the event that I didn't get to meet. Hopefully at the next event.
So with all this said and done, I maintain - social media is not (just) for the social marketer. Social media has allowed this non-social marketer - in multiple ways - to make great connections with people whom I might otherwise never have met.
Photo by nereski