OK, social media, I get it

After running a Facebook page for a couple of months (for a band, no less), I’ve finally got a tenuous handle on what this thing is all about. It’s mostly like hosting a party 24/7 for a group of people who’ve had a couple of drinks so that they’re socially lubricated and ready and willing to say pretty much anything, and have the mythical memories of elephants so they never forget anything. I say this lovingly and with respect, because this isn’t a bad thing, mostly.

You don’t get to hide behind the facade of a direct market campaign and just watch the numbers tick. And you don’t get to lean over from your general advertising perch and take a distant gander. You’re on the floor, in the thick of it, where the action happens. At best, you’re the host. You’re the facilitator. You’re not the commander. You don’t get to call all the shots. You put out a few conversation starters, make introductions, laugh at jokes, offer encouragement, ask for ideas and then try to keep everyone happy and entertained. And no matter what you do, some folks always leave the party.

And the elephant memory thing? Well, social media sites like Facebook keep a record of every conversation that’s ever happened in the place, so anyone can join in and reignite a thread that happened at any time. No one ever forgets because they don’t have to. It’s all there, in print.

It’s great, though, all of it. Because you do ultimately create a community of people genuinely interested in what you and others there have to offer and who other people are. It’s just not entirely for the feint of heart.

Rock on, social media.

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