4 Social Media Love Stories

Finding love on the Internet is nothing new — one in 10 Americans have tried online dating, and one-third of U.S. married couples met online.

But professing it in a creative way? You know, not just the “OMG! I have THE BEST boyfriend/husband/wife/girlfriend ever!!!! I love him/her so much!!!” status updates? Now, that’s a little less common.

What about finding it online in a different way? We’ve all heard of online dating, but some folks are dating online without the help of a site tailored to that purpose.

To give you a break from the Facebook doting and Match.com love stories, I’ve surfed the ‘net to bring some truly awe-worthy social media love stories in honor of Valentine’s Day:

  1. “I Hope This Gets To You” viral video
    Now if this isn’t the best example of a profession of love and social media, I don’t know what is.

    Back in November 2010 (eek! Doesn’t this seem like eons ago!?), L.A. director and editor Walter C. May got his roommates — a band called The Daylights — together to write and record a song for his girlfriend who’d just moved away to attend Duke University. He then filmed a music video, spending only $100 on materials.

    The catch? None of his friends or her friends were allowed to tell her about it. May’s girlfriend was to discover the video on her own, through social media sharing alone.

    It took his girlfriend less than a week to see the video. And apparently she loved it.

  2. The classic Facebook search of your own name
    OK, who hasn’t looked up their own name on Facebook to see who else shares the name? I did — there’s a woman in DC with my name. We’re now Facebook friends.

    But a Florida woman has a much more interesting story.

    One day, a bored Kelly Hildebrandt searched her own name on the social networking site. To her surprise there was a man who shared the name — so she sent him a message. Apparently, he thought she was pretty cute. They were engaged several months later.

    Unfortunately, this couple only stayed married for three years.

  3. Using Twitter hashtags
    Laurie Davis is the author of the book Love At First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Dating Online and founder of eFlirt expert. Basically, she helps people find love online through dating sites — and regular social media sites, too. She actually met her own fiancé through Twitter.

    Her fiancé, Thomas Edwards, is also a dating coach. She searched the hashtag #dating, saw one of his tweets, retweeted him, met up for drinks and the rest is history.

    The couple plans to wed this May.

    Fun fact: For all you hopefuls when it comes to finding love on Twitter, a U.K. electronics company found via research that it takes an average of 225 tweets to successfully pick up a person.

  4. Brought together by music — and social media
    One of my friends who avidly dates via OKCupid once said to me “when you meet guys at a bar, all you have in common with them is that you were at the same bar. But that’s not so with online dating.”

    The story of Dianna Hank and Noah Zitsman reminds me of what my friend said.

    The two met in a Phish chat room on Turntable.fm. After being friendly with each other for a while, they realized they both were attending the same Phish concert in Vermont — why not meet up?

    Meet up they did. And they did at other concerts after that. Eventually, they ended up dating.

Lane Blackmer is a self-employed former journalist. Although she’s no longer a newsie, Lane since discovered other uses for social media such as public relations, marketing, job searching, and trying to win gift cards from her favorite local businesses through contests. Lane inhabits Philadelphia, where’s it’s not always sunny…but at least there’s cheese steaks. You can follow her on Twitter at @LaneBlackmer.

SMWNYC Day 2: Best Practices, Real Stories, Ghostwriting

There was much to love (pun intended) about the Valentine’s Day edition (Day 2) of Social Media Week NYC 2012. The events throughout the day brought attendees much of the same excitement that defined Day 1, with an array of diverse offerings to choose from. Here are some highlights from the three in-person sessions I attended:

  • Global Brand Management: Best Practices in a Social World: Host Efficient Frontier led a panel discussion – with other key digitally-focused executives from Hyatt and Live Nation – on the challenges and best practices for maintaining a global social presence – one that is authentic, centrally governed, locally relevant, and engaging. Key takeaways from the session centered around success stories and challenges faced by each of the panelists, specifically on how to localizing content in various markets and leveraging more user-generated content (UGC).
  • Beyond the Like: Using Real People’s Real Stories to Drive Brand AwarenessMicrosoft Advertising General Manager Jennifer Creegan kicked off a jam-packed session with a discussion about opportunities that let advertisers deliver word of mouth to their target customer in an interactive, powerful, and measurable way – focusing on creativity, connection, and relevance as the key dots to connect. The ensuing dialogue continued along this path, emphasizing the fundamental belief that “we [as social advertisers] have to bring consumer authenticity into advertising – we think that’s what these ratings + reviews do.”
  • The New Ghostwriter: This Hearst Magazine sponsored session focused on addressing the issues that arise when third party ghostwriters curate messaging on behalf of others, and what implications this reality has on brands that embrace social media as a means to create conversation and extend their reach. The ensuing conversation touched upon ethical concerns related to trust, authenticity, and transparency involved with ghostwriting – and addressed the convoluted question of whether ghostwriters can ever be a valuable, nuanced asset to a brand. There was no catch-all, resolute answer to this question, but the dialogue around it was both spirited and engaging.
Greg is a motivated Cornell University Hotel School alumnus, affectionately known as a Hotelie for life, with keen interests in social and digital marketing for hospitality and lifestyle brands. He’s passionate about sales and marketing in the hospitality industry, specifically as it relates to the dynamic online space. In his free time, Greg obsesses over growing his musical intellect (both modern and past-time artists apply), tennis, and running skills. Check out his lifestyle blog covering these topics at http://www.thesocialsonictraveler.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter.

SMWNYC Guide to Valentine’s Day

Tuesday. The big day. Some call it a day of love; some can’t wait for it to be over. But it’s a day we talk about love, likes, trust, sex, and feeling connected- mostly by women but always by passionate people. And we’re happy you’re spending Valentine’s Day with us. To make it a sweeter date for you, we’re compiling some of our picks for the day that involve all those aspects and are still open for you to register.

9am at Fenton: NGOs, Causes and the Original Interest Graphs – Interactive Panel Discussion
10am at Hearst: Digital Voyeurism: How Sharing Real Homes in Real Time is Changing the Way We Decorate
10am at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness: Keynote: J.C. Herz on Unpacking the Quantified Self followed by Panel: The Sensor Continuum
12pm at Reuters: Keynote: Rachel Lloyd, Executive Director & Founder of Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS)
1pm at Big Fuel: Social Love: The Future of Social Media and Relationships
2pm at Thomson Reuters: The Internet and Power: Sopa, Twitter Censorship and Who We Can Trust To Protect Us
4pm at Microsoft: More than “Likes” Can Say
4:30pm at Thomson Reuters: Supercharging Your Love for Facebook Marketing
5:30pm at NYIT: She Shall Lead: Helping Women Take a Leadership Role in Social Media
5:30pm at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness: Women, Money & Social Power: What Made The Komen Debacle A Win For Women
6pm at SVA West Side Gallery: Chocolate Tasting Networking Party for NYC’s Social Good Community
6pm at JWT: Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of “Connectedness”

Let us be your valentine, and enjoy the myriad events on relationships- the professional and personal-, marketing and social good.