Social media engagement and engagements

For those of you who haven’t already heard, I recently got engaged. I say that a little tongue-in-cheek because, chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you know me.  And if you know me and follow me on any kind of social media, it would be nearly impossible for you NOT to know that I’m engaged.

How do I know?

Because I’m pretty sure Facebook exploded when my fiancé and I posted the news.

Within seconds of uploading the picture of my ring, we were already getting likes and comments, several from people neither of us have talked to in years.

In essence, social media becomes your personal PR firm when you get engaged or post any kind of major news, and there’s an upside and a downside to that.

On one hand, it drastically eliminates the number of phone calls you’ll make, especially when you have a huge family like mine. My mom is the youngest of nine children, so on her side of the family alone, I have 17 aunts and uncles, 30 first cousins and a whole slew of second cousins.

Calling all those people would be time-consuming, and Facebook helped us get out the news quickly. Plus, by posting the news on social media, you won’t hurt anybody else’s feelings because you called so-and-so before them.

But on the other hand, unless you’ve grouped your friends effectively (which I’ve been meaning to do), everyone can see the same news, so your mom’s childhood neighbor who you’ve never met has the same access as your best friend.

Don’t get me wrong; when two people get engaged, it’s exciting! I understand the urge to like and comment on every adorable picture they post. Still, comments from people who haven’t really been involved in your life can get awkward fast – for example, “I didn’t even know you were dating anybody!”

You also have to consider how publicizing something so special will affect your own celebration. Hunter proposed to me after I left work at 5 p.m. on Halloween, and we didn’t post anything on social media until probably around 10:30 that evening.

We wanted a few hours to celebrate our engagement on our own, and that ended up being a terrific decision. The second our announcement was “live” on social media, we both started getting texts and tweets from just about everybody, and we spent a solid hour just trying to respond to them, barely even talking to each other. If we hadn’t taken those few hours “off the grid,” it would have been kind of sad to spend the first hour of our engagement that way.

Even weeks later, I’m still passing random Facebook friends on campus who will shout their congratulations to me, and I have to admit, it’s kind of fun to relive the excitement all over again. Hunter and I both studied journalism, so we already knew social media was an effective way to engage your online community, but we had no idea that our engagement would make that engagement grow exponentially.

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About Tara Knott

Tara is a staff associate at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations. She recently graduated summa cum laude from Belmont University, where she studied journalism and public relations.

Posted on November 28, 2012, in Social Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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