Thursday, July 7, 2011

On Social Media

I recently made the following statement to my staff, 'You know, I'm really tired of twitter, facebook, blogs and the whole kit and caboodle! I think I want to take everything down and be done with it for good.'

I got some blank stares. And a, 'I don't think that's a good idea, Jodi.' But, the statement still holds true. I hate what social media has become in the wedding industry. I hate reading passive-aggressive statements from locals and wondering if I'm the target. I hate reading about how perfect everyone's business and life is when we all know that no one has a perfect business or life. (I surely don't!) I'm just so exhausted by it all lately that I wonder if it is time to pull the plug and get back to the basics?

I recently took a new direction on this blog and began writing about the issues that affect us with the idea of specifically targeting wedding and social event planners. What I write it is truly from my heart. But what I have come to realize is that my words can be interpreted in whatever voice the reader chooses to use. A very benign statement can be misconstrued as arrogant or haughty even if that is not the voice that was used when writing. This is the very thing that I am struggling with right now. How can you make someone read a post in the voice it was written in? The answer is, you can't.

A highly respected social media expert once told me that it's important to maintain a presence should you ever want to write a book or engage in public speaking one day. Publishers will look at your stats to confirm that you have a 'following.' It's always been a goal to a.) write a book b.) speak on the topic of luxury wedding planning and c.) teach event planning at the college level. But I'm wondering if these should continue to be goals if social media is going to make me second-guess myself all the time?

This post has been brewing in my head for a number of weeks now and I wonder how you, my readers, feel about this topic? Do you share the same feelings and thoughts? Do you struggle with the same issues? Please, make me feel better and tell me I'm not alone! :)



John said...

I feel your pain. I feel compelled to paint a shiny happy picture of my business at all times for marketing reasons even though there are days that are tough. I don't think this makes me dishonest for not blogging all the difficult things though... just a choice I've made on how I use my blog. For me I tend to use the different outlets (blog, twitter and facebook) of social media in different ways. Twitter and the blog tend to be more on the "Professional" side and facebook I "let my hair down" a bit more. However I try to be as transparent on all fronts as I can. As "Thumper" from the classic Disney film "Bambi" says, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." (Can you tell I have young children?) :) I for one appreciate your honesty and your voice in this industry. People only twist your words because they are insecure or jealous of you. You are a leader, and people always want to BE the leader... so that paints a target squarely on you. Perhaps the only advice I can offer is to "care less" about what the industry thinks and "care more" about what your clients think. I've found on days when I'm the most insecure about who I am or how I compare ... that if I shift my focus back to my clients needs and doing the best job I can for them .... and worry less about my reputation, it ends up being a win win situation. Thank you for your voice, your honesty and your call to all professionals to step up their game!

Anonymous said...

I am appalled at the personal attacks used in social media. Professionalism is thrown out the window and replaced with passive-aggressive statements to make oneself "feel better". Its disgusting and childish and not even worthy of the writers attention. If men and women in this or any industry are so highly respected by others this language should never be used. The real truth in replying with such words only shows insecurity and is seen by all. My advice to the writer....KEEP WRITING!!! Why is it that we always allow the negative thoughts of others to put us down? If you believe what you write is true, then be confident and as difficult as it may be ignore the negative. Continue being secure and confident in ALL your statements, blog, twitter,facebook, and the book you will write one day. For those of us who enjoy reading your writings please stop second guessing your self and continue on like the confident women that we have read you to be.

Best wishes!

"Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."
Abraham Lincoln

Claudia said...

I couldn't agree more! I am glad that I am not alone with the same feelings on social media!
Claudia Lutman

Jen K. said...

I love your voice, Jodi, and for those with ears to hear they can only stand to develop in their respective fields. For those who read a tone that simply does not exist... well, it's their loss. Even though we work in different aspects of the business, I learn from you in business and grow because of your friendship and honesty. Iron sharpens iron. ;) Keep writing.

Annie said...

You are fabulous! Not only is your work amazing but I like the direction you are heading with your blog. This issue you recently discussed regarding social media is not something that only affects business. I used to be in the industry and have since decided to go into education. I see our current youth culture being incredibly thoughtless with their words and hiding behind social mediums. It is really unfortunate. I applaud you on your desire to maintain pure, real, and genuine. I miss the traditional ways we used to live life. When did social media begin to take over life? What ever happened to community? I understand that it is very much a part of our culture, but how much can we be apart of it without letting it take over and consume us? There is definitely a very fine line.

Keep up the amazing work!