For the past five days, Social Media Week has been ongoing throughout the Washington DC metro area (#SMWWDC). Social media pros and amateurs alike have traveled throughout the city to attend a variety of sessions, hosted by communications agencies, firms and organizations to learn more about how to effectively use social media as a business tool. I’ve already written about the importance of getting out of the office to attend professional industry events, so I won’t reiterate the same message. However, I will say that while these events are great avenues to learn about new platforms and tricks of the trade, they’re also a great way to get back to the basics.
Though I haven’t worked in social media for a prolonged amount of time (can anyone say that, really?), I can say I’ve been in the industry long enough to get bogged down by the monotony of the daily grind. Whether that’s monitoring clients’ Facebook engagement, conducting Twitter searches or creating LinkedIn profiles for clients who know nothing about the platform, somewhere along the road, I lost my spark and let the excitement fade.
However, attending a variety of #SMWWDC events this week reminded me that what we, social media professionals, do on a daily basis is, in fact, pretty cool. No, we aren’t curing cancer or launching space stations. But we are in a unique position in that we have both a client and an audience to please. We are the voice of our client and it’s our responsibility to be the bridge the gap between the client and the audience. It’s our creativity and the relationships we build with audience members that can translate a client’s boring press release into a Twitter frenzy or a viral video on YouTube. Yes, the day to day brass tacks of our job might not be super sexy, but if you step back from your desk and think hard about what you represent, then it’s actually pretty cool. Sometimes though you need to step out of the office to realize that and along the way you might learn something new or you might realize that you just need to get back to the basics.