A Sunday morning brunch at The Blvd Restaurant at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel would be the perfect way to start my day on any given Sunday. However, the sharing of the wonderful food was greatly enhanced by the gathering with some 20 other individuals for the first ever “Los Angeles Social Media Professionals Association” brunch. The brainchild of this organization is Allison Nassour and with the help of Lauren Breuning who is the social media director for the hotel which sponsored the event, we all gathered to network, brainstorm and receive a touch of therapy from each other with the goal of expanding our knowledge and abilities when using the various forms of social media.
…what is most important to me about the social media sites is that I can share with others the latest information, stories, perspectives, experiences and opportunities for those who are looking for information pertaining to cancer and domestic abuse survival and support.
I was struck by the variety of businesses, non-profits and causes represented by this group of people and the dedication that each person had to their business and/or purpose for embracing social media. As expected, most discussions centered on Twitter and Facebook but other topics were discussed including the latest in technological advances in hardware. Many ideas were provided by other members of the group to address specific needs of those individuals who were facing their own problems or who needed input regarding such things as the best utilization of advertising dollars.
As I sat there listening to everyone, I couldn’t help but think about the limited amount of time that social media has been a part of our lives and how quickly everything is growing. I am so ecstatic about all of the possibilities that social media can provide to anyone who is willing to embrace it. I also know that the toughest battle right now is to reach those who don’t understand this revolution, don’t want to learn about something new like this and who believe that it is nothing but a mechanism where kids and teens can interact with one another.
I feel very fortunate to have been invited to participate in this group and for those like me who are out there trying to expand and improve our social media experiences, I would like to suggest that you start your own social media groups for sharing and learning. Many of us do not have the big budgets to build the flashiest sites or pay for major advertising. Many do not even wish to have a site but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be able to access sites that have the information for which they are searching.
For me, I know that I appreciate it when other tweeters tell me about their great hotel and dining experiences. And when I find great places like that myself, I love to share with all of those with whom I can connect. But, what is most important to me about the social media sites is that I can share with others the latest information, stories, perspectives, experiences and opportunities for those who are looking for information pertaining to cancer and domestic abuse survival and support. I know that each of us who are engaged in social media on this level have a product or cause in which we believe deeply and we are willing to spend the time and effort to do everything that we can in order to share what we have and what we know with others. I found today one more tool that allows me to do just that and I know that everyone who participated today was able to walk away with at least one more idea that will enhance their efforts. That makes it all worthwhile to me.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.