Be Authentic: Insights from my first #MediaChat

This week I had the opportunity to join in on my first official Twitter Chat, something I didn’t even know existed prior to enrolling in my Social Media Management course this semester. Truth be told, when I first learned about the live twitter chat, I thought to myself that there was no way it was at all interactive, engaging, or even informative. After all, how much could you possibly learn from various, 140 characters, tweets spread out in just an hour? Well, to my surprise, quite a lot actually. In fact, I learned a lot about:

· The importance of being patient in your pursuit in becoming an influencer

· The importance of being memorable and being different

· And the importance of establishing a close connection and relationship to your audience.

I chose to join in on Media Chat, a live twitter chat that hosts a guest speaker every Thursday at 10pm EST. I had the pleasure of learning from Melany Berger, an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced social media influencer and blogger, with over 30,000 followers and 57,000 posts on Twitter. Impressive right? The title of the chat was “How to Work With Brands You Love”, and it surely didn’t disappoint. One of the things that inspired me the most was how Melany identified being memorable as one of the keys to success in this field. She put it simply when she said “Don’t be like everyone else! Be you! Be what makes you different”. She followed this up by stating that brands are attracted to influencers like this because they know that these are the types of people that form the strongest relationships between a brand and the social media world. She even states that hiring a celebrity isnt as effective because celebrities don’t connect and interact the same with the social media world as an influencer does. She reminded us of this when she said “Brands hire celebs for ads. They hire influencers for honest opinions, building relationships w/potential customers.”

This idea behid the importance of influencers and their ability to form relationships with the wolrd brings me to another important point that I learned from Melany, which is the importance of being organic. Melany informed us that “When brand tells someone what to say that does not = influencing someone organically! It is not their thoughts & opinions.” This really stuck with me because it shows how people love authenticity and something they could actually connect to. Brands sometimes try to control everything to the point where it comes off as fake and staged, which is something that ultimately ruins the connection. This is a big problem because she highlights that a succesful campaign is the one that earns the most connection through:

· Likes

· Shares

· Comments

· Entries

Although I was extremely skeptical of the whole Twitter Chat scene prior to joining my first chat last Thursday, I walked away with a new perspective on social media. Before this chat I didn’t see any way that 140 characters of WRITTEN text would appeal to anybody in my generation, especially with how visual everything is nowadays. However, after seeing how many people interact and engage in the Media Chat with Melany, I now realize how I was wrong to assume that. Through this chat I’ve not only learned the importance of being authentic , but I also learned how important it is to be yourself, whether it’s in business or in your personal life.