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Social media brings together like minds IRL (in real life)

‘Tweet-ups’ become organic networking events for new media mavens

The night before Halloween was the first official meeting of the Social Media Club of Chicago. As dozens of Chicagoland bloggers, Tweeters (those who microblog on Twitter) and other social media enthusiasts descended upon the bar the Pepper Cannister, I wondered how many other Social Media Club events and Tweet-ups were occurring around the world.

Cision Blog blogger Jay Krall and other social media people at the first official Social Media Club Chicago event 10-30-08

Cision Blog blogger Jay Krall and other new media people at the first official Social Media Club Chicago event on 10-30-08.

According to the Social Media Club website, there were two other official SMC events going on that night in London and Dallas. A quick Twitter search for ‘Tweet-up’ (a meeting formed on Twitter) reveals that other events were going on in Washington, D.C.; Boston; Wichita, KS; Orange County, CA; Charleston, SC; Greenville, NC; Tempe, AZ and more. And that was all on one Thursday night in October.

Why has there been this explosion in networking events formed through social media? Because the core nature of social media is human interaction. Shel Israel recently wrote a post on his blog, Global Neighborhoods, titled “Online Tribalism & the Future of Social Media.” In it, he explains, “The relevance of social media is that it allows us to interact in the world increasingly more like we behave in our own physical neighborhoods.” A natural next step for people who live near each other and have been interacting through social networks is for them to interact in person. Like minds find each other through niche topics and shared interests online and can then share in person the relationship that has already been built online.

Tweet-ups can vary in purpose from professional networking events to a quick lunch date with two friends from Twitter in your area. I have seen Tweet-ups for blood drives and attended Tweet-ups at conferences. Regardless of the purpose, people that you might want to interact with are getting together and you could be a part of it. Stay involved in groups on social networking sites, sign up for a microblogging site like Twitter or check out blogs that discuss topics of interest to you or your company or clients and the in-person event invites will start rolling in.

Tags : social media

About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.

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