|photo by Becky Koch, NDSU Agriculture Communication|
Yesterday I was standing at North Dakota State University talking social media holding a bag of California grown almonds and it caused me to stop and really think about my engagement in social media. How did I get here, talking about social media, community building and why on earth was I holding a bag of almonds?
Everyone needs a purpose to engage in social media. Otherwise, I think we’d feel like we swimming around in a deep, dark, murky sea.
When I started sharing on this blog three and a half years ago, my sole purpose was to connect a few family members and friends to our prairie home and family.
No one was showing me the yellow brick road to social media. But I knew my purpose down the road of sharing my story was rooted in my family.
My family is rooted in farming and food and thus my sharing in social media expanded to those areas of interests and true passions of mine. Through my personal sharing in social media, I have connected with women like myself, not like myself, far from the prairie and even a couple near my prairie home.
From sharing my story, social media has given me so many rewards.
From personally engaging more people in social media right in my own back yard to…
meeting California almond farmers through my professional work, my relationships have grown deep because of social media. My communities are not just a local economic development or Bible study group but instead my communities are online as well as offline.
Yesterday I was able to share about my social media engagement with North Dakotans, a rare chance to share in my home state.
During my presentation, I delivered a bag of almonds from my California almond farmer friends to a fellow North Dakota tweep (friend on Twitter). We all know one another from Twitter, sharing common passions for farming, food and social media.
I brought the almonds from an earlier April Modesto, California when the almond farmer friends had dinner with me on a business trip back to the North Dakota prairie with me. But the purpose of the almonds was for me to be the deliverer of almonds to the North Dakota tweep. It was a connection point.
The North Dakota tweep was waiting for his almond delivery yesterday at the event I spoke at and even had a latte in hand to trade me. He went so far to ask me on Facebook how I liked my coffee and was waiting with steaming hot sugar free, skim milk latte for me when I arrived at North Dakota State, and looked to be intently waiting for his almonds.
The power of social media hit me as I delivered the almonds. I was reminded me to why I share in social media.
My social media engagement is for the people, the relationships and communities.
Social media isn’t just about pushing out an agenda or a message. If you are trying to build your brand off of me, I am not interested. To me, social media is relevant because of the value of the relationships we are building online and all that I gain from those relationships. It is purposeful to me. It’s why I am sharing my story in social media.
Thank you for being a part of my social media community. Yes, you reading and commenting on this blog…or just lurking on this blog. You have expanded my thinking, helped me grow as a whole person and connected me to an outside world, far, far from the prairie. It’s relevant and it’s real.
Why do you engage in social media? What’s your favorite thing that you have gained from social media?
I won’t say I am a recluse, but going from a job that put me in front of people every day to “retiring” to be a farm wife, well… it really put me far off the social radar. I love connecting with people. Some have a lot in common with me, and others introduce me to new ideas and worlds. I LOVE the circle of new friends I have created and the agriculture connections that have come from many of these new relationships.
it’s such a wonderful web of people and their lives – all interconnected thanks to this blogging world (and other forms).
Great minds think alike! We both posted about social media on the same day. Love your post and the pics!
Aimee Whetstine says
Wonderful post, Katie. I especially liked your comment about how your communities are offline and online. That’s social media in, well, in a nutshell! You got right to the heart of what prompts us to participate in the first place and what keeps us coming back.