#MySMCstory: Laura Good, President, Social Media Club Sacramento
How has Social Media Club impacted your life? This is the question recently posed to Social Media Clubbers around the globe. It's an excellent opportunity for each of us to reflect back to our first introduction to the Club and to discover how that first engagement has impacted our life journey.
#MySMCstory officially began in April of 2009 when I attended the first SMCSac event on Government 2.0. The month before, Kristie Wells and Chris Heur came to Sacramento and helped a group of social media enthusiasts start the club. I found out about the club and the first SMCSac organized event a month later on Twitter. I have a slightly different profile than many of the Social Media Clubbers -- I'm not a marketing professional. I was there because I had a twitter addiction and I wanted more candy!
Let's step back to life before SMC...I moved back to California in late 2007 to a region of California I'd never lived before -- the Central Valley (actually the foothills surrounding the Central Valley, San Andreas that is, Motherlode, California Gold). I needed a job and I needed it NOW. Having worked as the Director of Manufacturing for TracStar, a tech start-up in Orlando prior to moving back to California to be near my family (after a liquidity event—woot!), I wanted to find a job with another fast-paced early stage tech company (that's another addiction and another story). In September 2008, at a talk on Collaboration 2.0 by David Coleman and Oliver Marks hosted by TechCoire, a local technology forum, I first learned about Twitter. Many in the room pooh-poohed it as being a "crazy idea" but I was intrigued. A week later, I created a Twitter account. At some point during the months that followed I became an @unmarketing fan. Scott "only" had about 10K followers at that point in time. I learned a lot from him about HOW Twitter could be FUN and productive as well (if you consider nurturing relationships productive which I definitely do!).
Flash forward to February 2009...I find out on Twitter about the first ever #SacTweetUp at the Pangaea Cafe. I'm still feeling new in town although I've been in the region for about a year now. And I even have a part time job as a consultant for SARTA, a non-profit focused on growing the technology sector in the region. At that event I meet for the first time a number of folks who will become my twitter besties; awesome Sacramento folks like @juliegallaher, @ronnieledesma, @swellyn and @scribbykitty. I'm intrigued by the way 30+ people who really didn't know each other "in real life" came together and had a smashing time at a networking event. No ice breakers needed--we'd already done that on Twitter. That tweetup is what made me excited about going to the first Social Media Club Sacramento event a couple of months later.
Back to that point in my timeline--the very first SMCSac event in April of 2009 on Government 2.0. I met some great people that night and I asked to join the leadership team. I've been with the club ever since in a variety of roles, including becoming club president in 2011. My participation in SMCSac has broadened my engagement in my community. And I mean my physical community. The one I live in. Through the people who attend SMCSac events, I've made community connections in just 3 years that would have taken a decade or more to make before social media. I am connected to more people and organizations in Sacramento than I was ever connected to when I lived in Silicon Valley (pre-dot.com), Orlando or Salt Lake City. These connections have allowed me to experience some personal firsts.
I've become quotable: Through my involvement in SMCSac, local media--print and TV--have identified me as a source of information on all things related to social media. I've been asked to help connect the Sacramento Business Journal with local talent on various social media platforms and even been interviewed myself and quoted in a few articles. I've appeared on local news and morning shows several times to talk about social media. I think its fun and it really thrills my parents! :)
I've become a social media teacher: A number of organizations and groups have reached out to me to teach about Twitter or Facebook. Not paid gigs, pro bono stuff, mostly for non-profit organizations. I love this opportunity to give back.
I've become a charity advisor: I was thrilled to be asked to join the marketing advisory committee of the United Way California Capital Region. And remember earlier in this post when I told you I was not a marketing professional? How cool is that?! I've "organically" become a marketing consultant!
I've learned how to make a difference: Ok, this is the big one! I've learned how to use social media to make a difference in my own backyard. Through Social Media Club, I've helped round up over 20 marketing professionals who offered free two hour one-on-one social media tune ups to as many local non-profits. I helped to organize a bone marrow registry drive that added 35 people to Be the Match Registry. I've helped to produce social media workshops and forums that help charitable organizations promote their causes more effectively. This is what is nearest and dearest to my heart. And I didn't even see it coming when I raised my hand to join the leadership team back in April of 2009.
That's my story; how about yours? How has Social Media Club impacted your life? What benefit has it brought? I'd love to hear your story--just be sure to tag it #MySMCstory. And, if Social Media Club has added value to your life please consider making a donation to the global organization to support the expansion of Social Media Club programs.