A trainer’s tale of a Social Media Halloween grab bag

While much of the planet is now accessible via social media it still feels like a Halloween grab bag.  You remember the kind when you were a kid?  You’d reach into a dark space, touch something (usually spaghetti masquerading as brains) and you’d have to figure out what it was.

That’s what social media can be.  Reaching out into the dark, not sure what you’re going to bump up against.  Endless forays with little, no or questionable ‘return’.

That’s one scenario.

If you are strategic however social media can be an entirely different scenario, like the field that ancient philosopher Rumi (1207 to 1273) speaks of:

Beyond right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there.

Here is an example of how to take the Halloween grab bag and make it into Rumi’s field, where you can connect, listen and build relationships.

I recently sent out an e-newsletter with a contest, saying the 10th person to sign up to receive my blog would win a gift certificate (Amazon or ITunes, their choice).

I saw that the 10th person was someone named Sam who I emailed to say they’d won.  I wanted to announce who’d won in the next newsletter.  No response.  I emailed again, saying I’d need to move onto the next person if I didn’t hear back, which would have been a shame.  To my delight Sam emailed back, which started a lovely connection.

I asked her – “And you?  What do you do, what are you about?”

To which she replied –

“Who is Sam?  Grew up in the 60s and am in my 60s.  Highlights of Sam’s past, include exec and producer in Hollywood, child violinist, opera student, actress, show girl, countess, multi lingual world traveler, mother of a beautifully realized, happily married and creative daughter.

Have long been an activist for social justice and the environment.  My writing has been published in local papers, and have done pr, marketing and business writing.  Currently, and despite being technologically challenged, I have a wee blog that’s targeting older women; a drop in place for crones/seekers in search of making a difference through choices made with life supporting values.  It needs work.  Up til now, my posts have drifted in too many directions.

It’s been a long road, sometimes uphill, sometimes the wind’s been at my back!  I remain ever hopeful, sometimes foolish..”

She also said “When you have time, it’s your turn to tell me who Lee-Anne is!”

That’s for the next post.

In the meantime, thank you Sam, thank you for connecting, for sharing and for turning a Halloween grab bag into a field of lovely wildflowers.  I’ll meet you there.

P.S. All info about Sam shared with her permission.


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2 Responses to “A trainer’s tale of a Social Media Halloween grab bag”

  1. Dan (Leadership Freak) Says:
    July 17th, 2010 at 4:38 am


    Thanks for this warm story. I can tell you enjoy connecting with others.

    Those entering the social media area must enjoy connecting with others. The use of social media as a marketing tool will have marginal success. It works for permission marketing where recipients have specific interest in a vendors product or services.

    However, it seems to me that you use social media to create a connection that opens a door for you to share your insights with others.

    Here’s another way to connect. Take social media to a new level by calling people on the phone. Novel idea. Use that antiquated device. I try to call one person a day that I’ve met online. It’s an enriching, rich experience.

    Best to you in all your social media pursuits.

    Leadership Freak,

    Dan Rockwell

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Hi Dan
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I totally agree; social media will never replace phone and in-person conversations. It’s one way of connecting with people, listening to what people are concerned about, talking about, interested and intrigued about, but certainly not the only way.

    I love that you call people you’ve met online. I’m sure you have some stories about where that’s led. Sometimes the most antiquated devices become new again, simply because they create attention due to disuse. I’m like that with thank you notes, I like to send hand written notes via the mail.

    Best to you and your work. Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s appreciated.

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