As those of us in the United States stop and celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it would be neat to have some of my friends and colleagues in social media contribute to a “Thanksgiving” post with a unique focus.
Often we reflect on things we are thankful for in the realms of family and health. My question posed to this group was to reflect specifically on social media.
Social Media was not an “industry” 7 years ago, and now is a central component of online marketing. It has clearly impacted our lives as we work in the “industry” of social and digital media.
So the statement was posed…please reflect on and answer this question: “I’m thankful for ‘?’ about social media.”
And here’s what they said…enjoy!
I’m thankful for …. about Social Media:
What I am grateful for…
I think back to 10 years ago, and I can picture myself bored and frustrated and questioning life as I sat in the office of the business I used to run. Even thinking about it makes my stomach tighten in a bad way!
While it was a step up from selling cars, (yes – I did get stuck selling cars for a while after moving to Colorado and not getting the job I thought it was going to get! ) it didn’t fulfill the dreams I had for myself as a business person and as a human being.
I remember so clearly the day I was first introduced to LinkedIn from my (now) best friend, Laurie Macomber. Multiple gratitude there – for LinkedIn – for her – for my life 🙂
Since then my Business and my life have not been the same. I love my life. I love what I do. I love speaking and teaching and training on LinkedIn. I love the clients I have met. I love the places I get to travel to and the people I get to meet in my audiences (like Mike :-)) I love the technology.
Hours unicorns and rainbows? Of course not! Sometimes I can be very frustrated with LinkedIn. But I can say truly clearly and unequivocally that I am so grateful for the opportunities LinkedIn and social media has allowed me.
I’m thankful that social has given me and others a career and the ability to create careers. For those that are teachers at heart, the social algorithms help spread our messages.
I’m thankful for all of the special friends I have made solely because of the human connections that social media has provided me.
From finding fans of my favorite Japanese musician Yaida Hitomi and them actually buying a ticket for me to save me a seat (!) to meeting people in real life all over the world that have served as local tourist guides or just those that we could help each other professionally or personally, social media has added SO MUCH to my life!
That includes getting to know you, too, Mike! 😉
I’m grateful to Social Media for the great amount of connections and positive energy it has brought into my life, both at a personal and professional level.
As an individual, social media has allowed me to find and reconnect with friends and family members that time and distance pushed to a remote corner of my memories. It has also brought some good new friends that will now be hardly forgotten.
As a professional, social media has opened an endless world of possibilities to do business. Here I am in my home-office in Melbourne, writing these lines for one of those new friends living in Indiana, who I met in California at a conference where I managed to get clients in several other countries… The World is not enough anymore!
Nothing of this would have been possible in a world without social media, where connections took longer to build and nurture, and were limited to a few people only at a time.
Social media is more than just an evolution of the Internet. Social media is the meeting point where technology meets gregarious behavior: two natural traits of human beings that have evolved with us since ancient times in two separate roads, and that now are merged to let us boost our personal and professional relationships.
So big THANK YOU to social media for making all this possible.
I’m thankful for the relationships I’ve built through social media in the marketing community. I’ve met some of the most brilliant people from across the world thanks to social media, and events like the Social Media Marketing World conference.
These people are amazing. They’re kind, enthusiastic, accepting, willing to help others, and they love what they do. They’re focused on helping others be successful, and they leave egos behind.
I am fortunate to have learned from them, and I’ve developed real friendships with some of them. Thanks to this fabulous group of people for being a part of my professional and personal life!
Even though cat videos are certainly one of the BEST ways to take a break from work, they are not the MAIN reason I open Facebook each day.
Andrea Sodergren Vahl and I have been enjoying the increasingly enjoyable Closed Facebook Group for our Social Media Manager School members since 2012.
And this Group is the main reason I open up Facebook each day. Somehow we’ve found some of the smartest, funniest, most compassionate people in our industry and gathered them into this space. They live all over the world and connect into one.
When I started my journey with RazorSocial Social Media was extremely important because most of the key influencers I wanted to build a relationship with were in the US.
Engaging on social media channels helped me kick start the relationships, and I’m certainly thankful for this. I followed, became friends, pinned, scooped, commented and did whatever possible to initiate conversations.
The next stage of developing the relationship was meeting people at conferences but without social media the conversation would never have started.
I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. In fact, this year more than any previous year.
Social media has been really good to me over the years; it’s helped me to build a global audience and launch a #1 best-selling book last year.
But this year I’m especially grateful for Facebook. On May 30, 2015, I posted a video on Facebook sharing something deeply personal to me. I had never met my dad. My video went viral with people watching it and sharing it all around the world. Just 72 hours after posting the video, I was speaking to my dad over the phone for the very first time.
Because this story went so viral, I had several television networks offering to fly my husband and me to meet my dad in person in Thailand, where he now resides.
On August 4, 2015, I met and hugged my dad for the very first time. It was the best day of my life.
Click here to see the video that aired in September 2015 on Inside Edition.
And if you are ready for a bit of a tearjerker, here’s a video of a song my dad wrote and performed for me while I was in Thailand. Click here to watch it now.
I am thankful that social media has allowed me to work from home and spend the most precious time with my kids.
And thanks to social media I can work for such notable entities as Social Media Examiner and Mari Smith. As a member of their social team, I’m able to help others with growing their business with social media. The most rewarding work.
Let me take this opportunity to thank people like Mari Smith, Mike Stelzner and Phil Mershon for offering me the opportunity to serve others with social media. I’m also thankful for Erik Fisher, my social team member at Social Media Examiner, who is always supportive of my work.
And thanks to social media I met the most amazing people from all around the world. People who are now my dear friends, who share their family stories and listen to my stories; people who give more meaning to my life, simply because they care about the same things that I do, although they might live on the other side of the world.
I am thankful that social media has introduced me to Mike Gingerich, who I regard as a dear friend, and I somehow felt that even before we met in person at Social Media Marketing World. It’s that wonderful confirmation that feeling that we are connected and care about the same things: a better world and quality time with our family and friends.
And I’m also thankful that social media connected me with Heidi Osburn Garland, a wonderful person, a true example to the world. Someone who dedicates her time and energy to end breast cancer. Amazing.
So, yes, that’s what I’m truly thankful for. Thank you, social media!
Every day I am thankful to the people with whom I’ve truly connected and are now part of my life.
It started on Google+ but has extended far and wide in part thanks to Mike Stelzner including me as a speaker at Social Media Marketing World in 2014. Since then I’ve met hundreds of awesome people on and offline who I would now call real friends.
Social Media has also given me the opportunity to find my groove, testing out new ideas and learning from those who are the best at what they do. It is a playground of opportunity, and great to be in good company while learning the ins and outs of the swings and roundabouts.
Thank you for being part of it Mike G. You are a good fellow, as we say this side of the pond.
I’m grateful for private Facebook Groups. They allow me to cut through the noise while I mingle with peers who are sharing my same journey.
Through these good folks, I’ve learned dramatically more about what it takes to reach the goals I’ve set for myself.
I’m grateful for Twitter, as it’s the greatest real-time feedback tool in the world. As a professional speaker, I no longer have to wait for feedback forms to read what audiences had to say about my message.
I can speak, step off the stage, and immediately see what resonated and what did not. I can literally tap into the mind of my audience while I was speaking– to the very second. That is powerful.
I’m grateful for live streaming, like Periscope, Blab, etc. These platforms allow me to show the world a more intimate and “real” side of my life, my beliefs, and my personal thoughts. They also allow me to do the same for those individuals I respect and admire. I truly think “Live Content” is a game-changer now that it’s available to everyone.
I am grateful for the ability to connect with, develop, and continue relationships thanks to social media.
I have made new friends, taken friendships further, and been able to stay in constant contact with friends and family – all because of social media.
Just recently, I was even able to watch one of my good friends get married thanks to a live video feed. So even though I couldn’t be there, I could share that special time with her!
I’m thankful for the freedom and opportunities social media has created for both my personal life and business.
Being an immigrant, living and working in a country that is not my own, social media has allowed me to build a life and a business out of NOTHING. No previous connections, family, friends and financial support.
I’ve also traveled the world, built friendships with some wonderful people and worked on some amazing projects based around the trust I’ve built on these social platforms! For all of this, I’m incredibly thankful.
I’m thankful for how social media can change our lives. We can build a business with very little marketing budget, get support from like-minded people, or raise funds for a good cause.
When I came out of college, the thought of being an entrepreneur seemed overwhelming. But now I have used social media to build my business into something I never imagined. I’ve met the coolest people, shared moments in their lives, and been entertained. Social media makes the world a more connected place.
When it comes to social media marketing, I could say I’m thankful for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s no question that each of these has been tremendously helpful in building my business.
What I’m most thankful for though extends beyond just a single social network. It’s the relationships that social media has helped me to build and maintain.
For example, Mike Gingerich and I met on social media a number of years ago. Had it not been for social media, we probably would have never crossed paths. We’ve had the chance to work together on various projects and record numerous podcasts together.
Social media has also helped me give back through the many Facebook Groups I’m a part of and post regularly in. I’ve also had the opportunity to reconnect with friends from years past and make new ones thanks to social media.
So when it comes to what I’m thankful for, it’s the relationships that are important to me. Without these connections, my business would not be where it is currently at. I also wouldn’t have had the many opportunities that
I often say, “Relationships are more powerful than marketing.” That’s why I’m thankful we can use social media to grow, build and nurture relationships.
With the click of a button, people can like, comment, or share content they find interesting. As for businesses, social media has become a significant game changer. For the first time in marketing, people can actually maximize using their brains over their budget.
It’s crazy to think Facebook is only a little over 10 years old! After being one of the first widely used social media platforms, Facebook continues to be the pioneer in the social movement.
Social Media has changed the way we communicate! We are now able to speak in the same language that our clients and customers do. For businesses, this means the ability to find exactly what the clients are interested in, what they need and what they like.
I am thankful for social media because of the game-changing relationships it can create!
Marketing in the past was a one-way conversation. Now you can build relationships and have a dialogue. For the non-traditional industry, this is huge!
While things like radio or television advertisements are not appropriate for certain industries, social media isn’t restricted the same way. In fact, social media is great at showcasing the uniqueness of businesses. Showcasing team members and recruiting new employees are great ways to use it to highlight work life.
Non-traditional businesses can use social media to have a conversation about who they are, what sets them apart, and use it to nurture their leads. Highlight aspects of your business, share information relevant to your clients, and become an informational source.
Social media has also made it easy for start-ups or for people who don’t have a marketing budget to still be able to create relationships. Not only is social media the best way to build relationships, but it’s also free! It’s opened up so many opportunities for small business and new thought-leaders to be able to reach their clients.
Look at Gary Vaynerchuk – how would he reach his audience 15 years ago? His Facebook page has almost ½ Million likes, and his weekly visits to videos, podcasts, and social media are more than that!
Now you can easily connect like-minded individuals to build relationships. You have the ability to learn and grow from each other and most importantly support one another. Social media=relationships and I am thankful for it.
I’m thankful for being connected with so many people across the country and world that I never would have met if it hadn’t been for social media. At a different variety of connection levels from casual to co-author to best friend, I’ve made every level of new contact. If you put effort into building real relationships, you get real results.
In 2004, I ventured onto my first social media network – Facebook. Over the years social media has connected me with people from all over the world. I have built lasting friendships with amazing people.
Social has also connected me with business opportunities to speak, teach, and write. All began through engagement on social media channels.
Prior to a speaker’s conference, I tweeted about attending and Gina Schreck responded to invite me to her session. We have been friends ever since! I met Mari Smith at this same conference but engagement began on a social channel. I met my friend Phyllis Khare online first and later in person when she did an event for a small group of my students.
I am thankful that social media has connected me to so many wonderful people! There are too many to list, but I have to tell you about a few. Gina Schreck, thank you for always making me laugh and for the fun times we have had co-teaching online together. You are a giver with a big heart. Mike Gingerich, thank you for the opportunity to work with you and learn from you. You are a true professional, genuine and a kind person.
Phyllis Khare, thank you for your giving way and for fun times, like testing out Google+ features together. I have learned much from you over the years through your education programs and books. I am still learning from you. Mari Smith, you are a genuine engager, helpful, giving and heartwarmingly kind. Thank you for helping so many people with your educational programs, including me. You give 150%.
Julie Perrine, I admire your work and value your friendship. You have a kind and giving heart. I am honored to work with you. Andrea Vahl, you are a smart and hilarious woman with a willingness to help people learn and succeed. I have personally learned from you. I am thankful to know you and have your friendship. Viveka von Rosen, I will never forget when you spoke from remote to my students, a group of Executive Admins, about why LinkedIn was important to their careers. Or the time, I interviewed you about your book, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day, which we conducted on a Google+ Hangout while you were hanging outside because your home was being worked on from the inside. You are always the giver!
I am thankful for knowing all of you and so many others.
Final words of thanks
As for me, I’m thankful for each person above and so many more that I’ve met over the past few years online.
It’s been such a unique journey, “virtually” meeting folks online and then meeting at conferences and feeling like you were seeing an old college buddy again!
I’m thankful for the camaraderie, the shared support and willingness of so many to help and partner together; and I’m thankful for this new arena of business marketing that so much flows with my instincts and natural inclinations!
For me, a key joy is meeting people from all over the world through social media. It’s so rich to have friends in the Netherlands, Ireland, Canada, England, Wales, Spain and more!
Thanks for adding value to my life and business!
Thankful reflections….It’s a good discipline and habit to engage in….stop and reflect on the things you have to be thankful for today!