The Buzz by Mike Schaffer - PR, Social Media, Pop Culture and Sports

Pop Culture, Social Media

April 11, 2010

Are you “Social Media Awesome?”

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A few weeks ago, Rick Astley helped me introduce the concept of being committed to being awesome.  But there was

The most awesome shirt EVER!

one problem in the post: we never discussed what “Social Media Awesomeness” really is, so you know what exactly you are committing yourself to.

So let’s do just that right now.

First, though, let’s address the elephant in the room.  Social Media Awesomeness is NOT about how many followers you have.  Sorry.  It’s just a number.  Bigger is generally better.  But having a large number of followers does not make you awesome.  I’ve encountered decidedly un-awesome people who have lots of followers and fans.

Second, just because you’ve been on the wagon for a few years does NOT make you awesome, either.  Seniority in social media does not necessarily equate with Social Media Awesomeness.

Network size and veteran status may be traits that many awesome people share, but they are not exclusive to awesome folk.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s discuss 5 Characteristics of Social Media AWESOME People:

1. Awesome people listen. Social Media is still a new frontier.  (Case in point: Did you realize MySpace, a network many people say has outlived it’s usefulness, launched in 2003?  This Web 2.0 world is barely potty trained.)  As a still-emerging landscape, there are countless sites, networks, tools that you (and me, too) just don’t know.  But someone else does.  Read, watch, pay attention – what may not even be a blip on your radar may be the next major trend.

2. Awesome people converse. More specifically, awesome people have conversations with people, and don’t preach.  We can all learn valuable information from each other.  However, if you’re awesome, you likely have something just as valuable to contribute to the conversation.  Don’t be afraid of that.  Along the same line, awesome people enjoy interacting with new people.

3. Awesome people blaze trails. People who are Social Media Awesome go places, literally, electronically, creatively, that other people haven’t been before (at least the people they know!).  Think about how you can get MORE out of social media and figure out a way to make it happen.

4. Awesome people like people. The power of social media is immense.  It’s truly something that is undersold.  Look at the people you can interact with in real-time around the world!  It has changed how we communicate, how we get our news, how we share our lives with friends and families, how we value privacy.  Unreal!  Well, truly awesome people remember that behind each Facebook profile and Twitter account and  YouTube video, there is a living, breathing human being.  Schedule a phone chat with someone you met online.  Go to a TweetUp for a drink after work and meet the people behind the avatars.  You’ll find you probably like them even more after you’ve met them in real life!

5. Awesome people take nothing for granted. Being awesome takes effort and dedication.  And both of those mean nothing without consistency.  Awesome social mediaites  bring their A+ Game each and every day because, well, you never know who you’ll encounter.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

I think it’s safe to say that, like perfection, we are all chasing awesomeness.  It’s something that may be just beyond our grasp.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rededicate ourselves to the cause every morning.

Tell me, what other traits can lead to pure Social Media Awesomeness?

  • Beautiful - awesome! - article, thank you. x
  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT Mike. Being able to identify opportunities and pouncing on them with all your might can lead to pure social media awesomeness. It can be very scary and patience is definitely a must, but, case in point, I am FINALLY living my dream in the social media sphere---yet I have so far to go. That's the pure awesomeness! The opportunities are completely boundless. Sounds so trite, but it's so damn true! Thanks a bunch for the great post!
  • Love this post - SM awesome means adding to the conversation and not just talking about "me, me, me".

    It means going beyond the online and meeting people in real life...if Twitter (as an example) were to die tmrw, how many people would you still talk to? If your relationships are purely online you're doing it wrong.

    It means constantly can't do the same thing over and over and expect different results...we trail blaze. We try new things. :)

    You hit the nail on the head man. Love it.
  • Of course you did this post Mike. It really is a good overview of what social media can be used for.

    One of the things not mentioned is that for all of us, social media awesome isn't defined in what others do, it's defined in how we can best use social media. Some are amazing at conversing over twitter and love that, others use facebook, some use video blogs or short snippits on a tumblr.

    To each their own, and once you find out which sites or locations you can best use your social media awesomeness, then you are definitely on your way.
  • mikeschaffer
    Hahaha - you say I write strange things??? (I'm still trying to figure out the PR lessons of Fraggle Rock!).

    You are 100% correct. Awesomeness is NOT confined to one network. Finding the network that will help you reach the people you want to interact with (be it existing friends or new connections) is pretty awesome!
  • Nice post Mike. I do, of course, highly recommend attending Tweetups :)
  • mikeschaffer
    Hahaha! Yes, yes you do :)
  • I've been thinking a lot lately about the paradox of needing to believe you're awesome in order to be awesome, and the danger of thinking you're awesome when you're not. I guess the point, which you so correctly made here, was that as long as you're doing your best and doing it, doing it, an' doing it well, you're golden. Hooray!
  • mikeschaffer
    You better watch out before I start dropping the Snoop Dizzle commentizzle!
  • I enjoyed this post. I agree with everyone else that it really captures what Social Media is about. I found that I was rating myself as I was reading through the characteristics listed here. If I were to add one I would say "Awesome people are open to new ideas." It goes along with what you mentioned about people who have been in the industry for a while. Often, you come across people who are afraid of implementing new things into already existing programs. Either way, I loved the list.
  • mikeschaffer
    Fantastic point, Natalia! Being open is a HUGE part of Awesomeness. Can we say part of being Awesome is acting like you aren't sometimes?
  • Great post Mike. I agree with taking time to truly interact with people and reach out for some "real" interaction as well. I need to get better at that myself this year. Seek out TweetUps, conferences or even offline phone conversations. Taking Twitter interactions to the next level is where the really awesome relationships start forming! - Tara
  • mikeschaffer
    Thanks, as always, Tara! I've dedicated myself to going to more conferences this year, when I can. Through DC-based Tweet-ups, I've met some incredible people and can only imagine who else is out there.
  • Yes - Living close to areas like DC, NY or LA definitely gives you (and others) and advantage for participating in TweetUps. I, unfortunately, have to travel far to catch any of the ones I seem to see going on. I was just talking with Christine earlier today about looking at dates for some upcoming marketing or PR conferences that we could attend. Any recommendations? :-) - Tara
  • Awesome:)! With the popularity of social media increasing each day, we can't have enough of these posts...seeing that most still use these valuable engagement platforms to "push." I'd add these to the list: Awesome people pull vs. push; Awesome people share vs. take; Awesome people believe in karma; Awesome people believe in their tribe.

    Thanks for starting this needs to happen more often!
  • mikeschaffer
    Thanks, Matt! These are phenomenal characteristics to keep in mind!
  • "Awesome" post, Mike!

    Another thing that Awesome people do? They constantly learn. They seek knowledge and always try to improve. They're knowledge-hungry and it helps them stay awesome.

  • mikeschaffer
    Bingo. Nail. Head. Meet Tom.
  • kathyhokunson
    Great post. This truly defines the important essences of Social Media - that is it is SOCIAL!!

    I hope to some day be Social Media Awesome.
  • mikeschaffer
    Thanks for commenting, Kathy - I'm sure you are well on your way to being Awesome :)
  • I love it. You are so right about meeting people in person and being human. Too many times people think it is a popularity contest when it isn't. You just need to reach the people you connect with and if you are really into something it happens to cast a big shadow.
  • mikeschaffer
    Thanks, Jamie! Yep - it's all about the connections.
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