Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce

17 March 2011

It Was Real: Enjoying the Original Social Medium

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Likes to Talk Shop…

Social media isn’t “free.” As I tell my students and clients, there are several costs involved:

  1. The cost of hiring someone to do it for you.
  2. The value of your time if you do it yourself.
  3. The opportunity costs: what you could be missing while Tweeting, posting, sharing, liking, friending, following and LOLing.

That last one is critical. For all its possibilities, social media does not offer the tangible benefits of the original social medium: actually meeting people in person. That’s one reason I teach: it gets me out from behind this computer and into the company of aspiring and inquisitive professionals. It’s also why I accept invitations to speak at business functions.

Today I addressed the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce at their March Business Luncheon. I got to present my thoughts on community-based social media to people who actually know what it takes to run a business. These small-to-midsize-business owners and managers aren’t slapping plans together and praying for an angel or VC to make them Wired magazine cover models; they’re actually selling to customers, meeting payrolls, and paying taxes. I was honored to speak to them.

I also had the opportunity to meet some great people, from a freelance journalist to a man who runs three small businesses (a tire shop, a photo studio, and a travel agency). More importantly, it gave me an opportunity to clear my head of the nonsense issuing from SXSWi by “experts” who’ve never run a business — and get back in touch with what’s real.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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