3 Secrets to Success With Social Media

Last week, we had an awesome 22nd sold out SMCSeattle event! @Armano (NOT Armani, although that is what your iphone spell checker will default it to ;)) was our special guest for the night and our event was generously sponsored Swedish Hospital. During the course of the evening,  David Armano (@Armano ) and Melissa Tizon (@MelissaTizon) revealed a few secrets to success in Social Media.

Nope, they did not claim to be successful or have any secrets, it is just what I took away from the evening.You could have taken away something completely different if you were at the event …and if you did, do share!

Melissa Tizon gave a short speech as sponsor. She was very brief. @Armano gave a longer talk as speaker.http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs031.snc4/33900_460039886712_667516712_5891569_6110501_n.jpg

Melissa Tizon addresses the crowd

1. Take those risks

At the beginning of her speech, @MelissaTizon said something like this -(paraphrased)

“A number of people have asked us why we (Swedish) are sponsoring these events. Really because people are looking for medical information online and there are just not enough of medical institutions out there yet. So we are taking the leap…”

Wow, I thought. Indeed. Swedish Hospital is taking big risks by putting themselves out there. Because they see a real need. They know that we are all seeking medical information online and they want to be there to answer and help. Wow. It is a HUGE risk though. They are putting so much time and effort and money into this, I would myself be scared if I was in their shoes. But a year into sponsoring our first SMCSeattle event, I think Swedish is slowly making it’s way into the hearts (gaining trust) and minds (branding) of people (Mine for sure!)

2. It is about the people. It is ALL about the people.

As she spoke, @MelissaTizon continued to say –

“Honestly, it is scary being out there – but then, it is all about the people. You all, the Social Media community in Seattle like Shauna, Jeris etc – have been so supporting of what we do, we want to support you in return”

Wow, again. The humility in her voice hit me deep in the pits of my stomach. Almost do not want to admit how emotional I got (we do bust our backsides as board members of SMCSeattle, so we are grateful to our sponsors :))…. It is indeed about the people. Social Media always works when we make meaningful connections. With every single meaningful connection, Melissa is getting her own sense of caring to scale beyond herself…


David Armano presenting for the night

Photos by Eugene @heuge

3. It is all common sense, yet it is not. It is all so easy, yet it is not.

Armano gave a pretty brilliant presentation. He introduced a new terminology to help us talk about building communities, talk about the process and made it all sound so simple.  So much of what David Armano said in his presentation was about using common sense. SO much about engaging community is about common sense.

And what does that mean? If it does not work in the real world, it will not work in Social Media. He talked about how you cannot just pick anyone off the street and make them a community manager. They should have the right characteristics to engage in a community. Clearly, as much as I would like to host a party for 17 year old partying kids, I really am not capable of that. Seems unlikely that I can manage an online community of partying 17 year olds then, right? Common sense, people.