This past weekend, I attended the Midwest Independent Publishers Association's Regional Publishing University. It certainly didn't feel like a university; I was excited about sitting in the front row and wasn't checking the clock every five minutes. What interested me most about the conference was a program called Promotion in a Digital World. The program featured four speakers from various publishing backgrounds, who were all using social media in creative and relevant ways that enhanced their interaction with readers. I have to admit, social media is something of an obsession for me, so this program confirmed that I should keep doing what I'm doing, and reminded me that social media is a community, conversation, and more than a two-way street.
Since I started at Kar-Ben three years ago, social media has exploded into the mainstream and my responsibilities have grown along with it. My daily tasks wouldn't be the same without it. I get excited to see how many new readers have signed up to receive our e-newsletter, or who is following us on Twitter, or who commented on a link I posted on Kar-Ben's Facebook page. For many companies as little as five years ago, customer relations was limited to a store, a phone, and maybe an email address. Conferences were essential for interaction; lots of paper and postage was required. Now we're only a few clicks away through email or social media avenues. Communication is quick, informal, and to the point. We have a better sense of who's out there. It's new, kind of scary, and also comforting to know you're talking to a real person and how easy it is to join the conversation.