Entrepreneurial Women “Get” Social Media

Posted on February 11, 2009. Filed under: People to Follow, Small business communications | Tags: , , , , , |

I’ve just come back from a terrific eWomen Network meeting, head buzzing, and purse full of business cards given to me by people who want me to follow up with them.

Artemis Exec Unspins the Web
I’m thrilled, because I really have the guest speaker of the evening to thank.    Maggie Kerr-Southin, of Artemis PR and Design here in Victoria, was our guest speaker, and her topic was “Social Media: It’s Not Just Kid Stuff”.  Maggie, Kerry Slavens and their team at Artemis operate on a whole different plane than I do – they offer the whole package for companies wanting a comprehensive branding, design and PR package.  They have the experience and the staff to run entire campaigns, and they do it very well.  So when Maggie shares her knowledge, I drop what I’m doing and go listen.  (Yeah, and I paid the late fee too – this being a “kid week”, I didn’t think I was going to eWomen this month until I heard that Maggie was coming to talk about social media)

Maggie started by asking the crowd of  entrepreneurs from around 30 to 60 years old how many of us were using Facebook.  A good number of hands rose.  More for LinkedIn, a few for Flickr, quite a bit less for Twitter.  Social media is happening in fits and starts for this crowd, but hardly anyone has figured out how to make the most of it.  Our speaker didn’t ask who had experienced a boost in their business from their social media interactions, but if she had, I probably would have been one of just a few with my hand up. 

The Lights Go On
Thank heaven the focus of her talk was demystifying how to use some of the most popular social media platforms – I could “see the lights go on” around the room, as the audience started to understand the power of online presence, and of building rapport using social media. 

The Power of a Good Network
Here’s the thing: eWomen Network women are incredibly good at using the network to share ideas, to cultivate friendships, and to recommend favourite businesses – both inside and outside the membership.  These women are excellent at building a mutually supportive business community.  What the marketing and PR insiders are excited about with social media is basically the same as what happens around the dinner table at this women’s business meeting.  It’s about building rapport, giving first, supporting each other, and listening as well as speaking. I know that given the necessary tools and a nudge in the right direction, this crowd will be fantastic at bringing their business specialties to the online communities of their choice.  They just aren’t doing it – yet.

So Much To Do
It was clear though, from the response to Maggie Kerr-Southin’s talk, that the members of our group want to figure this stuff out, and they’d appreciate the support they could get from someone with experience in social media.  When these offline networking and community-building pros start to look at their online strategy, many of them will be looking for a guide.  I hope to be there and of service to as many of them as I am able.  And as I was saying to a fellow marketing and social media pro at the event – there’s plenty of work for all of us.

So thanks again, Maggie, for the terrific message.  Once I’ve posted these thoughts, you’ll have me subscribing to your blog AND following you on Twitter.  And thanks, lovely eWomen members, for building such a great network.  This is the way we all prosper.

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