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Episode #020 – Work Relationship Crossroads, Business Mixer, & Revisiting Promotion Through Snapchat & Other Social Media Platforms

This week, we answer questions for Terri, who has found herself at a relationship crossroads with a former peer, Geena, who does not want to go to the bar for a business mixer, and John, revisiting a question on Snapchat and other social media platforms he posed in Episode #11.

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Question #1: My work friend and former peer used to be awesome. As a co-worker and team member, she was great at getting her work done and assisting others who fell behind. She was promoted to a supervisory role for a newly created working team, and now she is terrible. She isn’t good at managing, delegating, and keeping her team on the real task at hand. And she’s not a very good work friend anymore now that we are not on even standing on the org chart. Do I let it go and move on or do I try to salvage the relationship and be a ‘conscience’ to help guide her through her management duties? (Terri)

Answer: You always have the choice to leave a situation, even if it means moving to a less than ideal situation. That said if you can assist the former peer, awesome! If you can’t, move on. Luckily you don’t have to move to another department at work for work’s sake, but if you decide to break off the friendship and keep running into each other at meetings and functions, it could get awkward. Whatever you do, don’t force the situation. You will feel a natural move as to where to go, so just accept it. If you end up ghosting each other as far as your relationship goes, let it be. If she reaches out to you with questions about how she is doing, gently give some answers. If she doesn’t ask for your input, don’t give it.

Question #2: I am an office manager for a family run accounting firm that is in need of new clients. The company is constantly being invited to business mixes, and I hate business mixers. Being significantly younger than the founder of the company, it falls on his sons and me to be the representatives for these things. Is there a better way to connect then drinks and stale munchies? (Geena)

Answer: Yes, you should go. Go to the very next invite. You should show up a few minutes after the start time, make a connection with one or two familiar people, and then one new person. And then go home. This is a weird answer for me to give since I love to say ‘it depends’ and I too hate business mixers personally. But yes, you should go to a few and run the same playbook. Because what you are actually doing is stealthily attempting to get to know the who’s who in the networking game in your town and industry. And yes there is a better way to make the connections that you need without demeaning yourself with watered down drinks with people looking for a work excuse to delay going home without having real work to do. But first, you have to figure out the people and the mechanisms behind the mixers you are being invited to. They hold a powerful key to figuring out how to reach out to potential clients and business partners. You might even find yourself involved in organizing and hosting a mixer or two to gain access to the greater network. Once you have tapped into that greater network, you are free to stop going to mixers and similar functions. Unless you’ve made some connection and now find them fun, or at least bearable. But having your face seen at these things goes a long way until you find your ‘mixer’ becomes a club of the same guys looking for that excuse to hang out.

A Question Revisited: I am a business major and I am still working on my undergraduate degree. I am trying to create a digital media profile because I want to merge my dream of working in broadcasting with my deep interest in business and finance. I am confused on the right sources of social media to use to promote my work and engage with my audience. Snapchat seems to be all the rage, and the big time internet personalities are raving about the response they get being there, but the demo doesn’t make sense. I’m in my early 20’s, and I think my target is people with money to spend, which should be people 5 to 15 years older than I am. My research turned up that 23% of the power users of Snapchat are between 13 and 17. Do I really need to start using Snapchat? Can I be ‘new media’ and not be on social media for my business? (John, Episode #11)

Answer: Since we originally aired and answered this question, the hype around Snapchat has decreased, but there is stile plenty of chatter on how to keep the current social media you’re on relevant while incorporating the next current big thing, live video. I’m not addressing live video today, but the answer to needing Snapchat or any other social media platform relies on if you are personally on it and know your target demo you are promoting to is on it. If these parameters are true, you should create an account for your brand and keep a presence on the platform of your preference. If you’re not and don’t want to hire someone else to do it for you, don’t bother. Social media is just another distribution tool for your messages. Plus, it’s not as easy to reach the masses as it was a few years ago, so if you are worried about just creating more noise, call it a coin toss to whether the effort is worth it. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have established themselves as the place were ‘everyone’ is, so a presence is not a bad thing, but is not a particular necessity if it just creates another burden to your life.

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