There really is something magical about it. Not in a hocus pocus kind of way, but in a connectedness kind of way. I’ve said before on this very blog that it’s of utmost importance that we not hide behind social media. It’s so easy to do.
Instead of using it as a shield, use it to bring you out from behind the shield. Some time ago, I was a hider. I wanted to be heard, but not seen. I hid behind my witty comments and clever posts. My following on Facebook (the only platform I used to use) started to grow with friend requests from people I didn’t know from Adam… or Eve for that matter.
They saw a glimmer of who I was and they must have liked what they saw. I started getting invited out by new friends. There was anxiety and most definitely hesitation. I was imposing judgements that they would have about me upon myself before I even met them! (All of a sudden I feel like this should be a Face You Fear Friday post.)
One of the people that got me to step out of my comfort zone was a co-owner of a little mom ‘n pop on the east side of Indianapolis – [Papa Roux]. Papa’s wife, Colleen, reached out after many posts bantering back and forth with lots of laughter. “I have to meet you.” And so, we did – at another little mom ‘n pop in Greenwood – Vino Villa (you should ABSOLUTELY check both of these places out by the way.) We sat and chatted like we’d known each other for years. And so, I thought, this whole getting out thing isn’t quite as scary as I thought it would be.
In fact, I started watching them (Papa Roux – the business, not the man) run as a company. It really has grown because the owners know how to develop a relationship as a community and WITH their community. Another thing I’ve mentioned is that in social media, the reason it works is because people want to feel like they belong somewhere. When you let people know they matter – it shows. You can’t fake it either. People can absolutely sense when you’re being less than genuine.
I’ve fancied how [Papa Roux] has done social media since I became a follower. It boils down to this: they’re real and they keep it real. I talk about the restaurant a lot on my personal Facebook page… and I’ve had quite a number of my friends ask who this [Papa Roux] character is… So about a week ago, I organized a field trip so they could experience it for themselves. To my knowledge, not one of them left disappointed. The food (as always) was amazing. The owners came in just to hang out with the 20ish people that showed up for the field trip. They sat, they chatted – and then they threw ice cream sandwiches at my guests. Haha! All in good fun. Keeping it real – it’s what they do. Give it a shot – my bet is… it’ll work for you too.