Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it


Reignite your passion for your job

city of providenceI love what I do. Now. For many years my job was just that — a job I did for the paycheck. Sure I had a great work ethic, and did as good a job as I possibly could, always. While I did pride myself on being good at what I did,  I really didn’t get a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment from it, nor did I particularly enjoy what I did even though I did it for decades.

Then I discovered the magic of social media. For four years now, I have spent my days, nights and some hours of every weekend focused on learning about, reading up on, interacting with, posting to, and blogging about social networks for marketing. And I’ve said more times than I can count that for the first time in my career I love what I do.

Why I LOVE social media

There’s something about social media that just makes me think that this is what I was meant to do. Unfortunately it wasn’t around when my career all started xx number of years ago (too many to say!). But I am living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Maybe it’s that there’s something new every day to learn and discover. Maybe it’s that you can meet countless smart, talented, incredibly helpful people all over the world at any given time. Or maybe it’s just I feel like I can connect one-on-one with people, and be helpful rather than represent the people who are caring for people, as I did for almost all of my career.

The ho-hums

While I know this, and appreciate this every day, sometimes it can get monotonous. Oh yes, it’s Memorial Day weekend… time to share some healthy barbecue recipes or some safe grilling tips. Or during a winter storm, time to send out some info on avoiding shoveling and snowblower injuries. Every day may bring something different, but your overall strategy really doesn’t change and your editorial calendar is usually pretty definite. That is when you might feel a bit of ennui setting in… that touch of ho-hum, that “here we go again” feeling. That boredom you can easily forget how much you love your social media job.

Reigniting the passion

And when  you get to that point, that is when you need a good kick in the butt to remind you of what it is you love about your job. That’s exactly what I got last week. It was as simple as participating in a panel discussion for a group of folks, most of whom are not using social media to market their business. I found myself sitting in this amazing board room with one of the best views of the city of Providence to share some collective expertise with a great group of people from the Environmental Business Council of New England (@EBCNE on Twitter) and some panelists who were there to preach what they practice.

And that’s when the magic kicked in and the passion was reignited. My passion. My excitement for social media and its many uses and how strong a tool it can be when it’s used correctly. And hearing what other people are doing and how they’re using it. Then hearing people ask questions like “how do you find people to follow on Twitter?” The realization that not everyone is up to speed in this new world of marketing. That makes you understand that some people still don’t believe that social media is for them. And all of those things remind you of how amazing this technology is and how exciting it is to be a part of it.

Then you hear yourself talking about all the ways it can be used. And you hear the excitement in your voice and you realize how fast you’re talking and you see people nodding their heads and just GETTING it. THAT’S when your passion resurfaces and gets reignited and you remember all the things you love about this crazy, constantly changing but always social world of social media. And while public speaking is never something I like to do, when it’s able to serve as such an important reminder for me, it’s SO worth it.

So how do you reignite YOUR passion when your days become humdrum?

Leave a comment

Blah, blah, blah. It’s all just noise.

Man Holding LoudspeakerMy husband does not “exercise” in the traditional concept of working out. His is a more laid back approach, like with most things in his life. He takes the dogs walking at the park on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day, and he also works on his feet.

While I’ve always been semi-active and watch what I eat, I have recently adopted a new “healthier” lifestyle. For the past two months, I’ve hit the gym regularly five times a week and started eating healthy, unprocessed foods. I need to do this exercise, not only for physical health/weight management, but mental health as well (and I realize I left myself wide open on that one!). I love my workouts, and so I often come home excited and wanting to share what I did while at the gym.

Last weekend, when I babbled on and on to my husband about trying out the rowing machine and climbing 30 floors, he gave me a funny look. After a few minutes of this blah, blah, blah, which is what I’m sure he heard, he explained that while he supported me and my efforts at this healthier lifestyle, he really had no desire to hear all the details of my workouts because the gym is not something that appeals to him. Hmmm {steam pours from ears}. OK. After days of stewing about this, I think I get it, once I was able to relate it to something that makes more sense to me than the male mind.

I of course went back to social media (because doesn’t everything somehow relate to social media?). Specifically, I started to think about what we’re sharing through all these channels, every day. And I don’t mean just personally, I mean for brands too.

We all know that we get really tired of hearing about what people ate or when they need a bathroom break. Do people really want to hear all those details? No! With more and more people in the social media world, sometimes it really can be too much information coming at us all day long. And as a result, I wonder if it’s all just turning into noise?

The fact is, social media can be just that. The “gurus” and the “experts” preach that brands must use social media as a marketing tool today. But if everyone’s doing it, then it’s even more important to figure out how to distinguish yourself so you’re heard above all that noise. You need to find what resonates with your customers, and with the public.

So where does that bring me? Sometimes it says more to listen than to talk.

What if a brand’s social manager decided not to tweet for a few days. Instead, that time could be spent reading and listening to what your friends and your customers are saying. What are the hot topics? What are they talking about? Sometimes I think we get too caught up in the whole push to create our own content that we’re failing at delivering something that will be heard above all the noise.

So that’s going to be my goal for the rest of the week. To listen.

How do YOU differentiate yourself from everyone else?