Today we’re celebrating Social Media Day, which was started by Mashable to celebrate the many ways that social media has changed our lives. Ever since Facebook started in 2004, the rise of the social network has helped connect millions of people to each other, brands to their fans, and elected officials to their constituents worldwide. Causes have been started, carried out, and achieved by many citizens in their countries. Products have been featured, shown, used, and sold over social network platforms.
I’m sharing my story of how social media impacted my life with you. I remember when Facebook started in 2004, and I was in my third year of college at Smith College. I loved the exclusive nature of Facebook, and how it was only available to those in college. I joined up, and immediately found that I could find my friends on the social network, be kept updated on what they were doing, and even touched base with old friends from elementary school and high school that also had been given exclusive access to Facebook at the time.
Then Facebook started to expand, and more people joined the network, and even though I wasn’t initially pleased about the exclusive nature of Facebook becoming inclusive, I enjoyed connecting with family members, and meeting new people. After college, I went to D.C., and worked for a Congressman from Texas. I handled health care as a part of my portfolio. Healthcare as an issue was becoming a hot issue that elected officials couldn’t ignore. Millions of Americans were having crises with their health insurance, and that needed to be fixed. I left Capitol Hill to work with two national PACs in healthcare online advocacy.
That’s when I found out how powerful social media could be in giving citizens a voice, and making these voices heard to their elected officials. I trained with SALSA in using tools to communicate with people online, and used email marketing to send them emails with the latest updates on health care reform that was happening in Congress. The more I learned how to use social media, the more powerful my communications with these constituents were, and by the time health care reform was being voted on in Congress, I helped my organizations join with large national organizations to send over a million messages to Congress, and helped people attend town halls and meetings on health care reform.
I loved being involved in online advocacy, and connecting people to issues that they cared about, and after health care reform was done, I joined with a state PAC on political issues in Texas. I used Facebook and Twitter to communicate the PAC’s messages to Texans, designed graphic pieces, including a newspaper full page ad that was run in over 40 newspapers in Texas, ran online advertisements, set up a custom tool for Texans to send petitions to their elected representative, and built up the fan base to over 60,000 fans on Facebook.
Even though it was thrilling work, I became tired of the divisiveness in politics. I had finished my work in politics, and I looked to how I could use social media to connect with people. I started up my business, Buzzworthy Social Media, in 2011 since I noticed that many businesses weren’t sure how to use social media, and they needed help in doing so. In the past five years, I’ve helped small businesses connect with their customers online on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest, improve their email marketing system that helped them increase their sales, and trained them on social customer service. With large brands, I’ve helped them connect with their customers, increased brand awareness, audited and revamped email marketing programs, instituted social media policies, provided social media training, and managed their social media presence.
It is thanks to the rise of the social network that I’m able to use my expertise in connecting brands with their fans, helped large and small brands launch their websites, and improved their marketing system to generate more leads and sales for their businesses. Social media what we do every day at Buzzworthy Social Media, and we’re proud of our work in helping small and large brands connect with their fans online.
So, with that said, Happy Social Media Day to everyone that loves social media!