I'm on my way to Alaska (for the very first time!) to work with the fine folks at the newly opened Fairbanks Children's Museum. I don't tell you that just to share my travel itinerary (but if you want to check in on my exploits, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@museum_exhibits) or on Facebook.)
The main reason I'm writing about this at all is that one Facebook post about the Northern Lights (below) got picked up by my museum network, and that one post led directly to my trip to Fairbanks.
So what does this have to do with you? Two things:
1) Make sure what you are putting out on Social Media is interesting and/or useful to to other folks.
2) Keep track of the folks in your network often, not just when you need and/or want something from them.
There's a reason it's called SOCIAL media after all. It should be more like talking to a friend, not making a sales call with every Tweet or LinkedIn entry. Really, do you want to be that person who turns every conversation into an annoying sales pitch?
Ideally people in your Social Network(s) should be providing you interesting information, advice, news, and yes even the occasional goofy video or article that they liked --- and you should do the same.
I've met Brenda Riley, the Executive Director of the Fairbanks Children's Museum, at several museum conferences, and I've always thought, "this is a fun and smart person who is working on an awesome project. I need to keep track of her and her museum, so I should friend her on Facebook, and tell her about my blog, so that when the opportunity to work together comes up, we'll be on each other's radar screens."
And really at this point, that's my business plan: work with fun and smart people who are making awesome things. Social media (for me at least) is a way to stay in touch with all those future creative partners.
Maybe Social Media won't bring you to Alaska, but who knows where it could lead you?
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