Last night I experienced my very first social networking night through the Social Media Club of Dallas. Though I didn’t do as much networking as originally expected, I learned loads.
I first arrived (incredibly overdressed, mind) and stood in line awkwardly trying not to step on anyone’s toes…literally. After receiving my name badge, drink ticket, and free book (Content Rules by C.C. Chapman) I shuffled off to the side and stood in my comfortable circle of friends. Was I supposed to just walk up to people and introduce myself? Was I supposed to wait for them to come to me? I did neither. I found a chair, sat down, and started skimming through my new book. Rather fascinated, I looked up and discovered everyone was being herded into a theater. Oh, okay!
I followed the crowd and took my seat. Cell phones popped out all around me immediately. I confidently thought of my already-silenced cell phone in my purse and smiled smugly. It wasn’t until Mike Merrill got up to introduce the speaker that I realized people didn’t have their phones out just to silence them. (No one has ever accused me of being speedy-smart.)
Social Media Club is a learning experience. For a senior in college who has never been to one, I truly had no idea what to expect. What I got was so unforeseen that I’m still reeling about it a day later. Throughout the entire course of Chapman’s speech, people were tweeting with the hashtag #smcdallas. Sure, I listened and learned from C.C. but I networked on Twitter.
During the course of the evening, I had delightful discussions with other advertising students who were at the event. I talked to a professor at SMU about how he requires students to tweet in class as part of their grade. (I even tried to convince him to give me a full ride scholarship so I could be in his class. Still working on that bit…) I was retweeted numerous times. It’s a great feeling, knowing that people are actually reacting and responding to what you are saying.
So sure, I went to Social Media Club to meet people. But at the same time, everyone I met, I met via Twitter. When I woke up this morning I had 12 new followers and five people mention me in their Follow Fridays.
Social media surely has progressed over the course of the last decade. I never thought my best self-marketing tool would be found on a website such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. It certainly makes you think about what you should and shouldn’t be posting online.
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