I really have to share this message. This has to be my greatest WTF Social Media moment ever that had me entangled in a whirlwind of emotions. It’s actually quite humorous (and shameful) when I step back and look at the time I have spent dwelling over this one minuscule thing.
Remember when Clark Griswald, in the movie Christmas Vacation, was waiting for that big bonus to install his family’s in-ground swimming pool only to receive a year’s membership to the Jelly of the Month Club last-minute on Christmas Eve? Remember his reaction?
Well, my story is much the same and it has given me the knowledge I need as a social media blogger and consultant to move forward in changing the way I look at social media and how I incorporate it into traditional marketing.
Without using any names, I have been so excited about a particular release of a certain item. In fact, just last October, I was sitting on my patio and saying to my friends, “January is going to be AWESOME! I can’t wait to attend this party because it is the party of all parties. I love the product, I love the people, and I love that I’m within their network.”
In 2012, I burnt bridges. I was asked by three different companies to try their product. My answer was a resounding “no”. I offered the opportunity to do a giveaway for a third-party source for one product, but would I try them? No! As I do with my consulting firm, I do not promote more than one company in the same industry. Unless it’s toilet paper! I have a husband with Crohn’s and a 16-year-old son who eats me out of house and home. (Joke, I’ve only ever done a toilet paper initiative once)
November, I started building my Gift Guide and wrote to them stating that ,because of their generosity, I wanted to feature all of their amazing products and give them exclusivity. I did…..and it worked out well.
This December, when things were really tight financially in our home, I looked at my husband with tears in my eyes (as we made mortgage yet again) and said, “Well at least we have this party to look forward to.”
I was so confident that I was considered a life-long advocate of this brand that there was no question that I wouldn’t be invited to this party. I spoke about it to everyone. It was on my friggin calendar.
Well January came, I waited and waited and waited a little more. I did not give up hope. I did daily searches in all of my emails “just in case” it ended up in spam..
People were asking if I was excited for the party? What does one say to that without an invite in hand?
That One Social Media Moment That Humbles You (or makes you want to throw your computer out the window)
I woke up that fateful day and sighed. I convinced myself that it was just a party and who cares anyway? I convinced myself that even though I wasn’t invited I still remained faithful to the brand. I convinced myself that it really didn’t matter that I wasn’t validated because after all, I’m just one person in a huge lake of social media fish. Who am I to put myself high on a pedestal?
As the day progressed, I became fixated on Twitter all the while saying, “Trina, what the hell are you doing? You’re burning away a day of your life fixating on the probability that you were forgotten and not invited.” Yes, I wasted a whole day fretting over it. As the evening started, I noticed that my favorite artist was there……..SHIT. What the hell did I do to deserve this? I was in a glass cage of emotion by that time.
Anyone who knows me, knows me well enough to know that won’t stop questioning until I get an answer. So what did I do? I wrote an email congratulating them on their endeavours and questioned whether I had done something remotely out of character that may have compromised their brand integrity?
12 hours later……..still hitting send and receive. Could it be possible that I was de-listed and they didn’t want to acknowledge it?
Yes, it has come to the point and time where I have resided to the fact that I’m the newest member of the Jelly of the Month Club. A person who has refused numerous brand trials to remain committed to the brand I love.
Did I make a fire and burn their products on the stake? Of course I didn’t (I can’t afford to do that :))
Will I change the brand because I wasn’t invited to the party? It’s doubtful because the product works for me.
Will I be writing about them and showcasing their products? That too is doubtful even though I stand behind their products 100%.
Am I ashamed that I was so confident about their dedication to their advocates that I couldn’t stop raving about this party for four-months? You bet I am.
Blogging for Brands on Social Media
No, in Social Media you cannot have it all or expect it all no matter how dedicated you are to a brand.
In fact, Social Media is very Hollywood in a sick sort of way. You’re either A-Listed or B-Listed. Sometimes you bounce like Tigger back and forth from A to B. So much so, that sometimes you’re head is spinning, growing, and shrinking within a 24-hour period. Then reality hits, yes, I’m just a blogger, a person who is valued by the moment rather than the hard work and dedication to the craft.
You have to be strong, committed, and unwavering to compete in this fierce (and sometimes very catty) business. I wouldn’t change what I have done for the world. I am very proud of my blog and the wonderful experiences that I have encountered. I’ve given my daughter the gift of confidence to speak to anyone no matter how popular or rich. I have humbled her in realizing that not everyone wants you all of the time.
My blog is about experiences. Life long learning and knowledge no matter if it’s entertainment based or not, it’s still a journey that’s meant to be shared so one other person can relate to it and learn from it.
Social Media is the new wave of entertainment from teenagers to adults. Feeling B-listed happens often as we peruse daily through our personal accounts. Social Media is a wonderful form of marketing but it can also bring forth depression and feelings of “not belonging”. Whether you’re a blogger waiting for that big opportunity, a teenager waiting for a party invite, or a grandmother waiting for their grandkids to call, Social Media provides us with insight that can knock us on the floor at times. It’s the knowledge that knocks us down that makes us better, wiser people in the end.
It’s not fair, but it’s life. (I still think they forgot about me or it got lost in my email. 🙂 )