Social Media is Really All About Building Community and Supporting One Another

Filed in Guest Post , Interview , Sharisax Is Out There 6 comments

Social media has changed my life — and if you are reading this, no doubt social media will be changing your life AND your business, as well.

Social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have allowed me to meet and engage with a host of new friends — this is a very supportive community of individuals who interact with one another in a win-win situation for all of us.

I met Deepak Gupta on Twitter through some mutual American Marketing Association friends, and when he asked to interview me for his blog, I was honored.

Interview with San Francisco Social Media Evangelista — Shari Weiss

by Deepak Gupta [3/21/10]

I had the pleasure of interviewing and gaining insight from San Francisco’s own Social Media Expert – Shari Weiss. You can follow our discussion below:

What did you do before becoming a social media evangelist and how did you get into that industry?

My 35-year career has combined careers in magazines, corporate communications, and education – most recently as a marketing lecturer at San Francisco State and freelance writer for Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club. Early in 2009, I discovered Social Media and Social Media Marketing, and I’m convinced this revolutionary new communication opportunity will continue to change our world for the better.

What qualities and traits make for a good social media evangelist?

Open-mindedness must play a huge role because much of the new technology is foreign to generations of people raised with traditional methods and tools of communication.
Passion goes a long way in supporting the commitment necessary to continue studying every new tool and strategy as it is introduced AS WELL AS helping convince others of the ultimate benefits in store.
Knowledge of sociology and psychology to understand and empathize with people.
Honesty and authenticity in spirit and practice is critical to model best practices.

What tools of the trade do you use throughout your typical day and how do they help?

1) Email is number one, and I check my mail dozens of times every day.
2) I keep my Tweetdeck open throughout the day to see if any of my friends have written to or mentioned @sharisax – I have met and begun relationships with dozens of fellow Tweeters, some of whom have become partners and friends.
3) My email often leads me to notifications from Facebook and LinkedIn. Of late, I have been spending more and more time checking and participating in LinkedIn group discussions.
4) I have two blogs that I write articles for several times a week AND respond to commenters, all of whom I am excited to approve and reply to.
5) I do not yet have a SmartPhone, but I see that as coming soon. SOON has come. I now have a Droid and will be blogging about my SmartPhone/SmartBooMR adventures.

I cannot help notice how many people call themselves social media experts. Are they just throwing the title around or are there really that many social media experts out there today?

No comment, except to say that it is difficult to become an “expert” when something new is coming out all the time, and it is difficult to always know what will achieve “critical mass” and what will fade away as yesterday’s forgotten buzz.

Some of our readers are up and coming social media experts. What advice can you give them and how can they get that seal of approval of becoming an expert in the industry?

My first piece of advice is to forget about getting into social media to become an expert. Better to find the perfect fit for your particular skills/interests AND the tools and strategies that will help you provide value to others. In my case, I love both writing and teaching, so I blog and conduct workshops to help others learn everything I know.

Currently what are the best websites for promoting social media and why?

Without much doubt, Facebook – with its 400 million users – is, and will be, Number One. I do believe that YouTube – the second most popular search site – is a platform that should be understood and used to reach the most amount of people. I, personally, love Twitter and suspect it may replace email in certain circumstances. LinkedIn has great potential for those business types who learn how to use its many facets. Finally, with all its resources – particularly the brilliant minds in the organization – Google is bound to play a growing role in all our communications.

What kind of tips do you have in writing stories for our Readers?

I agree with the Common Wisdom that the best articles tell lots of “stories,” particularly case studies and narratives that show people accomplishing goals.

Also write clearly and simply, don’t whine, and tell the truth.

Give us one of your biggest accomplishments? What are your future goals?

One of my biggest accomplishments has been to continue my first blog SHARISAX IS OUT THERE with an ever growing passion . . . and a never-ending selection of juicy topics to learn and write about. And now I’ve started a second blog HOW TO DO SOCIAL MEDIA BY THE BOOK, where I share great lists of information from the wonderful social media books that I read.
I have begun offering workshops to friends and small business people and plan to help small businesses begin to implement social media strategies. In addition, I am working on a magazine-type blog for Baby Boomers.

We cannot ignore that the popularity of social media is skyrocketing. What advice do you have for people who want to use your ideas to promote their business?

GO FOR IT! That’s what social media training is all about – helping people use these tools to build their businesses and help others.

BTW, You can find me in a number of places online:

Facebook Fanpage for Performance Social Media
Google profile:
Squido lens:
my San Francisco State website:

PHONE: 415/897-6052

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   14 April 2010
Tags : , , , , ,
Apr 14, 2010
7:53 pm

“Knowledge of sociology and psychology to understand and empathize with people.” – it’s not really book psychology that you need, but inner empathy and understanding. One needs try to understand someone who is often different than you are (and in some ways the same, too – we are all trying to connect by using social media).

Love reading your history and your style, Shari. And your passion, too – I’m trying to catch a little of that. Can you put some in a bottle for me?

Author Apr 14, 2010
10:32 pm

Be right over . . . white or red?

Apr 14, 2010
11:11 pm

Shari, you are all over the place! Love it! Leora…ditto! So, Shari…now I am adding your other blog to my google reader … love how that allows it all to come to me vs. me having to go out there and “remember” all my favorite places! thanks for being you!

Author Apr 14, 2010
11:57 pm

Dotti, can’t you already see how social media is making this world a better place.

Apr 15, 2010
3:46 pm

Couldn’t have said it any better!!!

Apr 15, 2010
4:15 pm

yes, I can … people who would have never been connecting and engaging with one another … i believe that this collective intelligence is being tapped in amazing ways and is becoming the new “expert!”

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