Category Archives: Being Awesome

How Foursquare Makes Me A Better Person

foursquare badge buttonsSo there I was sitting in my corner being anti foursquare. I’ll admit, I was pouting because I didn’t understand what to do or know how to assign value to this tool. I call myself a social media lover (not guru, queen or any other grandly delusional title) but I enjoy social media and spend a good portion of my day utilizing it for both business and pleasure. Yet, here I was missing the boat on this craze.

It all changed when I changed… to iPhone. I’ll spare you the harp music, clouds rolling in, sun-shining-brighter-than-ever-before analogies that correspond with my switching to the iPhone… (But let me just say, I heard some pretty lovely harp music and saw some pretty freakin’ bright rays of sun the moment I touched this phone.) So, I guess to be accurate it was about four days into my iPhone love affair when some dude (@audette) rolls in talking about his new obsession with foursquare. I sheepishly admitted to not really being in to it and then thought wow, I can’t let this dude one-up me in social media – I better give this thing a shot.

So here I am, two days later (yea it only takes about one afternoon to become thoroughly addicted to the phenomenon that is foursquare), finding myself showing up to venues two minutes early so I can check-in, adding venues I frequent so I can make a run for mayor, diligently trying to oust @Audette as mayor of AudetteMedia Headquarters and pretty much finding any and every excuse I can to run errands so I can check-in at my favorite places.

It’s not only a fun, new social media obsession. I am a better person because of foursquare. Foursquare has made me:

1. Early to work and other activities – I find myself needing to be early everywhere to “check-in” and subsequently look like the go-getter at gym class, workaholic at the office or lunch-rush-beater that I am in fact not.

2.    Social – I get pretty stoked to see other people that might be in the same location as me. I want to meet them, exchange witty banter about how we both use foursquare and become lifelong friends.

3.    An insider – foursquare, or rather foursquare users, give me tips about the places I’m visiting. They might tell me to order one type of coffee over another, or how to find a good deal. They might tell me to avoid the lunch special because it’s gross. I wouldn’t know any of this without foursquare and I am now more valuable to myself and others because of it.

4.    That much closer to a becoming a social media guru – I wasn’t using foursquare, I was pouting in the corner with no badges or mayor titles to speak of, and now I am checking in at multiple venues throughout the day, communicating with other foursquare users and blogging about it here. I don’t know everything about social media, and I won’t claim to, but I know a lot… maybe more than you, and I feel that much closer to being a “social media guru” for having branched out to try something I was scoffing at, just to realize I look like an idiot for scoffing. Try foursquare. It’s good.

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I’m Awesome… At The Numbers Game

Pigs racing You have 14,000 Twitter followers? Wow, that’s awesome. You blog twelve times a week? Wow, that’s awesome. Your Facebook page has 7,000 fans? Wow, that’s like totally awesome.

So many bloggers, business owners and general internet dwellers out there are playing the numbers game. The more I tweet, the more I automate, the more I push myself on people the greater gain I will get in return. While a lot of followers, participation and fans of your stuff is great and all, you’re nowhere without engaging them.

Are you sitting there, reading this and thinking “but my marketing/social media/branding manager said I need to reach X amount of followers by X date”? Yeah, I know lots of people out there are running to get to a finish line where the numbers tell their success story. The problem with this is at the end of the race your trophy is just filled with a bunch of people who know a big fat nothing about you… And you kind of look like a pig.

What you need to do is make a plan. If your plan includes participating in social media, in any way, whether it be for your business, personal use or whatever, then decide to do unto others as you wish them to do unto you. Or however that goes. We all hate the teeth whitening tweeters, auto DMers, nonsensical bloggers and annoying Facebookers. So don’t be one of them.

Get out there and really communicate what you’re all about. Be open, transparent and oh snap, real. Be authentically awesome. Because if I don’t think you’re awesome just for having a butt load of followers or hammering my Google reader with posts you’ve written in seven minutes while eating your bagel, the people you think you’re engaging probably don’t care either.

Don’t get me wrong, those of you that do a lot with real, quality output I’m proud of you. We should all be like you. But if you can’t commit to quality engagement online, step back and reevaluate why you’re there in the first place. Your 600 followers will appreciate your funny, informative, original tweets much more than 10,500 spammers ever would.