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Social: Moving from Head to Heart

[This is a guest post by a Community Roundtable member, Michael Pace.]

I know it’s a foofy title or should be a Lifetime movie with Meredith Baxter Birney, so save the snark until the end.

In November, I took a position at Constant Contact as their Director of Customer Support, focusing on “alternative” support channels (Self Service, Social Media and Community). My background was hard core Operations/Customer Service, with a strong belief that long term quality always beats out short term productivity gains. My prior Social experience consisted of a Facebook account (you know to keep track of all the people in high school you hated).

So I drank from the firehose of information: RSS fed everything on social media and community I could find, created a twitter account (followed by 2 dozen more of the like) and joined The CR .

By February, I knew I was still an uber newbie, but thought I had it down pretty well.

#1 Listen: (checked) If I heard 1 more person tell me the first step is to “Listen”, I was gonna puke.

#2 Engage: (checked) Got it – provide good edu-taining content (no problem)

#3 Metrics: (checked – kind of) Nobody really gets it, so fake it long enough until your smart Operations oriented brain figures it out

#4 Build Relationships with the Tribe (In progress) Get to know the key influencers around, so go to

Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies in Boston. And here we go

Day 1 (Primer Day): It’s a typical conference:

  • Met some cool people
  • Was told I need to Listen again (don’t worry, I swallowed it down)
  • Went to my first “Tweet Up” – that was fun, I was a little tired so I left a bit early

Day 2 & 3: (A-HHHHHHHH, I get it now)

Something is different here, I cannot put my finger on it, but I feel like I am on fire! Everything is clicking. I am talking to everyone at a mile a minute, with crazy ideas and evangelising the incredible world of community. I cannot wait to get back to work, but I don’t want to leave.

  • Listening & Engagement have completely different meanings than I previously heard, I still don’t how to articulate it, but I know I have a new feeling about it
  • Speaker after speaker is filled with incredible ideas, case studies and passion
  • Measuring engagement is different for every business, because objectives are different (ROO vs. ROI)

I was almost the last person in the room Wednesday afternoon; I still had more talk about, write about and get down before I left.

I slept all of about 2 hours on Wednesday night. I picked up Trust Agents a few weeks ago (collecting dust on my night stand) and burned through 80% of it. I woke up and learned of a new place to go in the morning with more of the same – SMB17 – I am still flying high, with a little help from Dunkin.

SMB17 was another great session (complete notes from TwapperKeeper). At the end of the session, Aaron Strout (aka. Tyler Florence – alright that’s the end of it), said something that put all the pieces together.

He said, “Key thing is getting social media from your brain to your heart”. Once it’s there, you’ll have that a-ha moment”

THAT’S IT, that’s what happened, it moved from my overly analytical brain to my heart and soul. I don’t know exactly how or when, but I am betting a bunch of you had this moment. Hopefully, there will be more. I love this stuff. Aaron had me at “Key”.

Ok, you can break out the snarky lines about the foofiness now.

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