My Tuesday morning Twitter stream is full of colleagues, friends and others I follow boasting about being at Social Media Week in New York City. But for every person at these cool events, there are several of us who don’t have the resources or time to attend, and sit behind their desks and iPhones feeling pangs of jealously.
Put that jealously away – it’s not good for you. (Trust me, I know from first hand experience that this is difficult. But I know that once you get over the jealousy, your head will be in a better place. Dr. Phil moment over….now.) Here are a few ways you can participate in or create your own Social Media Week!
– Devote a column on your TweetDeck or a search to the week’s official hashtag: #SMW13. While reading live tweets is not always as inciteful as being there, it’ll catch you up on the key takeaways your colleagues who are in attendance will be bringing back to their workplaces.
– Use your free time this week to read a social media related case study or book. I’ll be using my “train time” finishing Solving the Social Media Puzzle by Kathryn Rose and Apryl Parcher, as well as reading the sample case study from the upcoming book Social Works by mStoner, an educational marketing firm. (And if you’re in Boston, I hope you’ll join the crew behind the book at their launch event on Tuesday, February 26th. Yours truly is the event planner. There will be crudite and hummus, so attending is a total no brainer.)
– Engage in one Twitter chat this week regarding social media, PR or marketing that you haven’t in the past. Or it can be a chat regarding the industry you wish to do social media work within. If you aren’t available at the exact time of the chat, that’s okay. I know a few higher education and sports chats that are continuous (you can engage with the hashtag whenever you desire, and others will usually jump in.) You can engage whenever it is convenient for you.
– Organize an get-together of your own. Bummed you aren’t drinking wine and eating cheese with other social media fanatics? Put together your own tweetup this week or sometime soon. Pick a date or a time (it’s usually easier if it’s a Monday – Thursday, since bars and restaurants tend to be less busy.) Put it out on social media that you’ll be there then and would love to get together with like minded people. Create a easy registration page either on EventBrite or Facebook so you can get an idea of how many people are coming and can make an appropriate reservation if the venue requires it. Make sure people understand food and drink is on their own, and then gather together. It really is this easy – trust me, I put these things together all the time.
– Put together a sample presentation of something you have done well on social media. Maybe its responding to Twitter in a crisis situation. Maybe it’s promoting a radio show via Twitter. Maybe it’s nabbing yourself a PA audition with the Boston Red Sox like Twitter user Joel McAuliffe did. Whatever you think you’ve done well on social media, flaunt it. Create a short talk, a guest blog post or a PowerPoint presentation on how you did it. Not doing so is like doing months of “Rock Hard Abs” and not wearing a two piece swimsuit afterward. Not only is sharing your experiences a nice thing to do, it is a chance to brand yourself as someone in the know. That will not only help your career, but it could eventually nab you invites to present at things like Social Media Week.
– Have confidence! Don’t let yourself think for a minute you don’t have as much experience as those who are presenting about social media in New York this week or the lucky few who get to make their living with social media. Social media is only a decade old. It’s hard for anyone to claim to be an expert in something that is ever changing and is younger than a sixth grader. You have time to catch up. Your experiences are valuable, and just because someone isn’t paying you $75.00 an hour for them doesn’t make them less so. Keep on learning, Tweeting, Instagraming and participating. Your day will come!