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Unplugging From Social Media and Getting Social (And Original)

Being Social Is More Than Retweets and Likes

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Social media isn’t always as social as its name would imply. For example, you can have conversations with people online and really not know them at all personally. 

How many of your professional social media friends do you actually know personally? Comment here.

It’s possible that you’ve had a really deep and meaningful conversation on Twitter or Facebook with someone in your niche that you greatly respect, but if you passed them on the street you wouldn’t even recognize them, let alone stop and chat. 

WebProNews spoke with IZEA CEO Ted Murphy recently about how sometimes, it just helps to pull back from the social media and really get social. It also helps to pull back if you want to create original content. That doesn’t mean stop using social media. It means don’t be strapped down by it. 

"The Blogosphere and social media have become a bit of an echo chamber," says Murphy. "The likes and the shares and the retweets and all that stuff – it’s great for spreading a message, but it’s like everybody now becomes programmed in the same way, doing the same thing." 

"So if we can teach people to pull back from that and say, ‘Ok, if I want to come up with a really original blog…a really original idea, I don’t want to know about all that other stuff. I need to unplug myself, and I need to just ideate,’" he adds. 

In other words, get out there in the world and experience things first hand, and maybe you can find some inspiration for original content. Then, maybe the echo chamber will echo you, instead of vice versa. What are some problems, concerns, issues, or observations you’ve made running your own business? What are some you’ve seen with other businesses? Maybe you can use these things to bring something new to the table, or at least start a fresh conversation. 

Even simply talking to the same kinds of people you would be conversing with online, in an offline setting can spark inspiration that may not have occurred from a conversation on Twitter or Facebook. Industry conferences are obviously a great place to meet people and to meet people that you have already had a professional relationship with online.  Great ideas can come from these conversations, and they’re not online for the world to see (and echo) yet, so you can take those with you and create that content.

Chances are that if a subject was worth talking about offline, it was probably worth talking about online as well (as long as its topical). 

"The reason that we come to conferences…is that it’s one thing to engage with somebody through Twitter or to do a chat with them or leave a comment on their blog," says Murphy. "It’s another thing to shake their hand and look them in the eye and share a beer with them."

"So I think the people that are going to get the most out of an experience like this are the people that spend the entire time trying to meet as many people as they possibly can, and not just coming here and staying with the people that you came here with," he says. 

"You should be coming home with stacks of…not just business cards and contacts, but experiences with those people," he adds. 

You don’t have to limit offline professional socializing to conferences though. You can do lunches or arrange other get-togethers. Don’t forget "tweetups". 

What are some other ways to create professional relationships offline that you’ve found value in? Share in the comments

Unplugging From Social Media and Getting Social (And Original)
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  • http://str82u.co Str82u

    Fresh idea for fresh ideas. Thanks for that one, it really makes some good points about unplugging in general to let some original ideas or fresh air in. “Echo Chamber” is a good analogy, articles here motivate me to write on my own news site about roughly the same subject, probably with the same ideas that the article inspired in several other readers. Gonna try to keep an eye on that now that you’ve pointed it out.

  • http://www.realkonacoffee.com Jim

    A great place offline to ‘Social network” is talk radio. Often you are speaking to an audience who share your values and sometimes can start a “buzz” or a carefully planted plug for your website or blog. I often plug www.angelagrace.com or my domain name site www.inetbrokerage.com and www.realkonacoffee.com on air and if done just right[unlike this blatent plug] they will let it slide.

    • http://www.x-treme-carpet-cleaning.com/ Guest

      Carpet Cleaning in Edwardsville Il i was thinking about using talk radio to get name recognition for http://www.x-treme-carpet-cleaning.com/

      • http://www.webflashartistry.com Guest

        Hi there,

        Before you spend any money at all on radio ads or other things for that matter look at your page source code and get it in order to go hand in hand with any ads or social media approach.
        Spending big bucks on radio does not mean you get more customers if you are not search able corresponding with your site for a long period of time !
        E.G. Your Title Description and keywords have to correspond to each other to be effective. Your Title if I may say so is commercially weak, Description not existing as they are really Keywords and the Keywords are another lot of Keywords.
        As is it should be Strong Title, a Description of your company as text, and keywords and also Keywords in combination of two or more swords should be Key Phrases.

        If you ever need help with your SEO let me know. regards aktell

    • http://www.webflashartistry.com Guest

      I only now see that you meant talk radio ! I assumed radio ads. Sorry, but the same really would apply to your site as well as below. Only one of the three make a reasonable effort i also do not find deep linking in yours or site linking between the three ???
      It is all not rocket science that SEO and to be search able out there it just has to be done properly ! regards

      • http://www.realkonacoffee.com Jim

        I was talking about calling in the talk shows and working in a plug so it relates to your point on the call but advertising on Conservative Talk shows are worth a try. The studies point out their market[listeners] earns and works more than Liberal radio listeners.

  • http://www.epalmspringsrealestate.com Abraham Baghbodorian

    Finally a sensible logical article about social media and it’s echo chamber. I agree there isn’t much social about it . Life is happening all the time , get out and interact .

    Social means:: party, gathering, function, get-together, soiree; celebration, reunion, jamboree; informal bash, shindig. And they all require face to face interaction.

  • http://www.webflashartistry.com Guest

    Well, if I’m honest your E-mails are going to my Spam folder without even looking a at them. I’m a great believer in ‘If I would read only half of what I’m viewing or searching for during the day I would have NO time left to get any work done !’
    I’m not sure what made me look this time when cleaning out the Spam, but I’m happy I did because I did really like this article !!!
    I found myself that all this hipe is totally overrated FB, TW etc. people get more and more tired of it because it is Bs and feed to use from the very top !
    I aggree with the person above/below ‘Unsocial Social Media. regards

    • Guest

      Dude your spelling and grammar sucks!

      • http://www.webflashartistry.com Guest

        Well, I’m trying hard .Sorry

    • http://www.feelfree.co Dayo Nurudeen

      I couldn’t agree more with you, firstly Webpronews mails were going to my spam also until last week when I dug them out, second I think FB is simply overrated in the sense that its not a place to share everything, its just a place to connect with old friends.

      I am developing FeelFree which I believe is a game changer. It opposes the idea of Facebook, It connects you with strangers instead of old friends that are kind of like strangers right now because you don’t know anything about them anymore. I think its worth noticing.

  • http://www.makemoneyteam.com Ray

    I am so glad you brought this up. You absolutely can have conversations within these social networks with people every day and still not know that person at all. In my experience people portray themselves online as the cool, sweet, considerate kind hearted person that they WISH they were rather than really expose themselves. Due to the social nature of those sites, people are often on their best behavior and tend not to expose themselves in the same way that they do in person. The upside is that they are a great advertising medium so the big guys can get rich whilst we all chat with strangers!

  • http://www.feelfree.com FeelFree

    Ted is right in some cases but in most cases you have to remember that not everybody lives in the USA or where conferences are available, so most of us cannot just unplug from social media because its the fastest and best way for us to stay connected.

    “Social media isn’t always as social as its name would imply. For example, you can have conversations with people online and really not know them at all personally” is a very good point and its also one of the reason why I think social media shouldn’t be trusted so much in the sense that, not everybody you add as a friend in your Facebook account are truly your friend, and you should always remember that some are strangers.

  • http://www.pushbikewear.com Steve

    I know very few of them personally.

  • http://www.ranchonc.com/ David

    Chris,
    You have hit the nail on the head. In fact, I was reluctant to even join social networks for this very reason. Even though I have many

  • http://www.thesilverpeoplechronicle.com LMR

    I agree wholeheartedly. I have often though that what started out as a very good idea, like Facebook, turned into a competition for the person with the greatest number of “friends,” and not any substantial relationships or even contacts. I’m glad I resisted the temptation. I prefer to foster some kind of common link for business or social communication.

  • http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/rnellis Robert Nellis – Social Media Consultant

    Love the article! Agreed that “social” media can many times make us anti-social. The trick is to augment your experience with other social encounters.