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Directions To “Connecting With Your Audience” Avenue, Your Mileage May Vary

by James Ball on May 18, 2010

Okay, I’ve learned everyone’s name in the new office, attended my first big meeting, and I think I’ve got my desk arrangement worked out. I’m wearing my new gig a little more comfortably now, and it’s time to write a little!

 Now faced with a new role, I’m in a square one position with literally everything before me. What are my goals, how will I accurately carry forth our mission and bring forth the desired results for our company? I imagine that many businesses are at this very moment faced with the same questions and challenges. Statistically speaking, the businesses that will look to leverage social media and establish a presence on the social web tomorrow will outnumber those from today.

 Social media “strategy” to me is often synonymous with “mission” (read: destination) a mission to be accomplished, as well as a value proposition statement for business.  “Connecting with your audience” sounds like a common & familiar pursuit in all of this, doesn’t it? I suggest that in reality, this is neither common nor familiar.

We all have a pin on the “map” that designates the end of the journey, the place we ultimately want to reach. From a social media marketing perspective though, it may be that we never truly reach a destination. We can always connect with our audience on a deeper level, or in some dynamic new way. So when have we arrived?

When are we connected enough?

When it’s no longer about connecting with anyone or being a connector of things and people… when we become valued members of the community…this is when I feel like I’ve truly accomplished something worth writing home about! Would you agree?

I know you’ve heard it before, I repeat it because it’s still true…it’s not the size of the community that matters. Numbers mean little when one really feels accepted. Being “on the inside” in a crowd of 4 can oftentimes feel a lot warmer and yield greater results than getting past the door into a packed arena. Uniqueness and value seem to travel best in smaller circles.

As I’m learning my way around and meeting new people in a place that I’m not so familiar with, I find that I have a real yearning to belong…to be a connected and valuable member of this new community. I am challenged with this task, and I couldn’t feel more privileged. For the first time in a long time, I am on the outside looking in. I am officially out of my comfort zone; I’d almost forgotten how exciting it is!

I just wanted to express today how wonderfully human I’ve felt these last few days. Aside from thinking about the strategies and tactics I will employ, the metrics and benchmarks I will closely tend to…outside of my head, there exists a more primal core in me that craves to connect. As I pack my tool belt full of skills and experience, I know that it is this core that will lead my way.

Take a nod from me today and set out to genuinely be, do, & live in your community. If you see a little bald guy wandering around and looking lost, let him in and make him feel welcome. We all NEED this stuff!

@WholeMind May 18, 2010 at 12:36 pm

You certainly understand the value of connecting with people on a personal level and come across as truly genuine. All too often people forget to actually connect when they are making "connections". Knowing a LOT of people can be valuable in some ways but its always much nicer to have a tight core group that would go out of their way to help you and generally care for your well-being.

@marisasharpe May 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Your new gig is looking good on you!

I could not agree more about the size of one's community. It's nice to know a lot of people and feel connected to a large community. It also feels great to have genuine people like you that I consider more then just a connection.

Enjoy that wonderfully human feeling. It's pretty awesome :)

@rockinrobync May 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

It's when we get outside our comfort zone that we grow the most and can experience the most goodness. I really am enjoying your posts about your new gig and being able to track with you on this journey. Keep sharing so we can all learn together, I'm excited about your new path. If I see you in my neck of the woods, I'll do everything I can to make you feel welcome and help out any way I can!

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