What Does Social Media Mean To Me?

Social Media has had such a huge impact on my life, that I’ve decided to narrow down its effects on only one aspect of my life – helping small businesses grow. Grow, you ask. Yes, small businesses can increase their reach through social media.  Big Time.

Let me give you an example: Just today, I was browsing through the 650 some people I follow on Twitter, and I noticed this tweet from @illyrias (a real person I’ve also met in real life due to “tweet-ups”, blog fests, and similar interests in music).  Her tweet happened to be a re-tweet, that is, she was tweeting what someone else had previously tweeted.  It said this:

This tweet originally came from @thesonomagrille (The Sonoma Grille), which is a restaurant in Pittsburgh’s cultural district.  I have never heard of The Sonama Grille before, and I wondered if they were in California, so I decided to look at their profile and discovered in fact, they are here in Pittsburgh.  So I decided to follow them.

And then I thought, “hmmm…that FREE bottle of wine does sound appealing!”

So I re-tweeted the same tweet that @illyrias had just tweeted in hopes of getting my free bottle of wine and winning the contest.  And while I was tweeting this, I was thinking “I bet they have a good wine selection and that when my sister and her husband come to visit me in Pittsburgh, The Sonoma Grille would be a good place to take them, since my brother-in-law is kind of a wino.  I filed this information someplace in the back of my mind, so that even if I don’t win the free bottle of wine, and head down to the restaurant to enjoy the free wine with a nice dinner that I would (most likely) be paying for, I probably WILL still get there sometime soon when my sister and her husband come to Pittsburgh.

Now, I don’t know how many people follow @illyrias and re-tweeted her tweet.  I don’t know how many people Re-tweeted the original tweet from The Sonoma Grille, but I can tell you that at least 2 of my 850 followers re-tweeted my tweet about the free bottle of wine within minutes.  And how many of their followers did the same?  I bet quite a few. Not to mention, all the people reading this right now.

How many potential customers does one tweet, which took 30 seconds to type, add up to over the next year?  Who knows, but I bet that one tiny tweet and one bottle of wine was damn well worth it.

And that is how I spend a lot of my time – helping small businesses grow their business, expand, and cut advertising costs by using social media and the power of the Internet.  I love seeing nothing turn into something, and to see people’s eyes grow wide with excitement.  That’s what social media means to me.


And don’t forget to register for this year’s PodCamp Pittsburgh, (a FREE two-day conference) where you can learn how your business or nonprofit can use Twitter, among many other wonderful social media tools, like blogging, podcasting, vlogging, and more.


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6 Responses to “What Does Social Media Mean To Me?”

  1. @bobf_vstpgh Says:

    I have a lot of respect for the way @BurghRealtor and @AtoZcomm are using Twitter. Neither are outright spamming or doing constant self promotion. The opposite is true. They are engaging the community socially and having fun.

    And now the first Pittsburgh realtor that comes to my mind is Amy (BurghRealtor) and a first Pittsburgh creative company that comes to mind is A to Z.

    It works.

  2. Thomas C Waters Says:

    Awesome post!

  3. Alison Groves Says:

    It’s interesting to see how much easier small businesses not only jump on Twitter, but use it more effectively than their huge corporate counterparts. Of course this is for a myriad of reasons, but I think this is (hopefully!) and example of how we’re becoming more and more of a niche society. Great to see local businesses thrive via social media.

    For me personally, I love that I get to follow my favorite small businesses in town and see their different Twitter usage. There is a local deli here in Nashville that tweets their daily hot bar menu, and that’s about all they do, but I still think it is a fantastic use of the medium. If I’m debating on what to do for lunch and something sounds good that day, I’m there.

  4. Justin Kownacki Says:

    There are people who will remind you that Sonoma Grille needs to measure the ROI on that tweet.

    They’ll affirm that someone should be running a Google alert on the Sonoma Grille name, searching for RTs of that initial tweet in TweetDeck, and analyzing their Google Analytics to ensure that sufficient traffic is inbound from that tweet. They’d also need to compare the equivalent “free press” generated by that tweet with the cost of running an ad that would have reached the same number of potential customers.

    Of course, those people are no fun at parties.

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