How I made friends with strangers

So I talked about engaging in my last post. I wanted to show myself and my team the power of social media so I started using Twitter at Gartner symposium 2012. Our #GartnerSYM was the way to connect. Now everyone probably thought that we use that as a newsfeed. I actually wanted to show everyone that this is the way to communicate and talk to people that you would never ever get a chance to talk to before.

So I started tweeting and taking pictures and posting them using #GartnerSYM. I started connecting with Gartner Fellows, CIOs, analysts and vendors. Even people in my own company that didn’t know who I was started reaching out and connecting with me just because of my interesting tweets. I started building relationships right off the bat with everyone.

I missed the special session with Keith Ferazzi who’s books I read and who’s videos I’ve seen many times over and over. A couple hours later after his session ended I tweeted him and asked him if he was still in Orlando and if he was able to meet up. He had to take a flight back to LA right after the session but he did tweet me back saying sorry that he had to go and he was truly touched by me wanting to meet him.

Overall two things:

1. I came back from the event making more connections that I could ever have dreamed of with strangers who now have become part of my network

2. I was disappointed in the lack of people who used Twitter in able to interact and connect. I think only 10% of the people used the power of Twitter to connect.

I used the power of social media not just to follow and see newsfeeds but to connect with people who I truly wanted to meet. Not for the sake of just meeting them but to learn and connect with them to keep on growing in my career.

Manpreet Jassal




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