Tuesday, March 3, 2009

social networking craze

I started this blog about 16 months ago and have been pleased to see that the number of people checking it out has far exceeded anything I might have imagined.

In April of last year, I started to embrace facebook and twitter as experimentation...to reach out to professional as well as personal contacts. Follow me here.

The result is that I've found both facebook and twitter to be very valuable in sustaining friendly dialogue with friends and new people that I might have only infrequent or very random encounters. Facebook has reconnected me with personal relationships I haven't had in 15 years (or more)...and that's amazing by itself.

As for business relationships, I am very lucky to already have a very loyal client base, but I feel that the addition of social network dialogue (sharing mutual bits of our personal and work lives) has strengthened these relationships to beyond just being a photographer/client experience.  I have many new unexpected friendships.

I must say I'm not engaged in social media for the purpose of driving the bottom line, but social media is a useful tool in solidifying and strengthening all of my relationships. If in some cases my friends happen to help decide where marketing dollars are allocated and which photographers are awarded work, then it may indeed help my business (indirectly). 

I still have to be the best photographer for the job to be hired...but sometimes an ongoing conversation makes you a natural fit to reach out to when a client needs something new done.


Joel said...

I wonder if the time taken to do such things is taking away, materially, from something else (like being a better photographer) -- assuming you're well beyond the set-up and learning curve phase, maybe you could take a shot at that? Maybe people are sleeping less, I don't know.

Also, I wonder how much of this type of this is a fad (remember myspace, glowy bluetooth headsets, pipl, etc) and/or is this stuff just becoming part of the freight of modern daily living.

Joe Milanowski gave a thoughtful response to my questions in this area and I certainly enjoyed your sharing the results of your experiment - very interesting.

Oh yeah -- how much of this wondering on my part is just a geezer thing?

Jen said...

Loved this post, Brian!

Brian Kelly said...

Thanks, Jen!

Joel, I think it's a bit of all the things you mentioned...a lot of this is just freight if people are only kicking the tires. Social media can work if what you blog about or twitter/facebook about is RELEVANT to the people that read it. That's the only way you can find an audience whether you use social networks for personal or business reasons.

Joel said...

Maybe I didn't communicate well what I meant by 'freight' (I think you interpreted it as 'burden'). I'll avoid getting wrapped around the axle (by which I mean...oh forget it... :) )

Your response about relevancy is similar to what was written about today in the WSJ (I'm sure it can be found). They were emphasizing the importance of being 'followed' and how that happens (as you said, being relevant).

And I was caught off-guard today by Dan Schorr on NPR and his parting comments on twittering. I'll leave you in suspense on that, but as I said it was the last bit.