At least once a month, I meet up with folks that I have initially met on social media.
And whenever a person who isn’t familiar with social media overhears me say “I’m heading to a Tweet-Up,” I get some very strange reactions.
I’ve had people express concern for my safety, insist that I “check-in” with them upon arrival or return home, or just outright laugh at the thought of meeting strangers.
Ironically, as an Emergency Manager, I meet strangers all the time and no one expresses similar concerns. In fact, nearly every meeting I attend has people that are initially strangers to me.
So, let’s demystify a Tweet-Up.
It is usually comprised of the following elements:
- Attendees have either followed or befriended each other on social media,
- Typically, people follow or befriend others because they have an interest or communication style in common,
- People meet in an informal environment….usually over a beverage of some sort which differs with the time of day,
- People chat about their common interests or whatever is on their mind,
- And then, they part ways….just like any other networking group.
Sounds pretty normal, right?
There is one difference. Rarely have I found people exchanging business cards.
If they don’t already know each other, they usually trade Twitter handles or friend up on whatever platform the group is active on. And yes, I’ve sat in Tweet-Ups where people connected on Linked In, Pinterest AND Facebook (and they have still been called Tweet-Ups, go figure).
What I love about tweet-ups is that, thanks to social media, I start the conversations already having connections with fun people which means that when we get to hang out “in real life,” we laugh, make memories and spawn ideas about future projects that get us all excited.
Sometimes, in our professions, we get into ruts and spend time around the same groups of people.
When is the last time you hung out with a fresh set of people? Are you mixing it up enough to find those fresh ideas that make you excited about what you do?
If not, make it a point to spend some time networking.