Friendships in social media, in my opinion, develop like friendships in real life. First, there are some casual glances and then a formal meeting. There are some small talkative exchanges, and then slowly, over the course of many interactions and time, the conversations get deeper and thus, friendships are developed.
Being a team here at ETC that is in and around social media very much, building our brand along with client brands, keeping social media relationships as close to friendships are in real life is a huge priority. If this fails to be a priority, individually and as a business, social media just becomes a series of robotic exchanges betwixt twitter handles and Facebook or other media comments with the sole purpose of elevating ourselves. It’s here that we run into twitter handles with taglines like, “If you don’t follow me back, I’ll unfollow you!” Imagine how well that would work if such exchanges were shared in person! But such is the twitter-happy, Gram-tastic culture that exists. Yet, amidst this quick-click following and unfollowing culture, it is possible to develop real friendships. Thus, it is our goal at ETC to fight that robotic culture, and in building a following for ourselves or a brand, we’re dedicated to equally building friendships as best we can along the way.
A great example of how a real friendship can develop is our friend Eddie. ETC was producing a high-end fashion show in the Fall of 2013, and it was there that I met a young, hip, cool dude with slick hair and sunglasses named Eddie. I figured he must be in his late twenties, with his cool shades and demeanor, but to my surprise, he was my parents’ age! I was singing at that particular event and he was doing other things throughout the evening, but in that small way, a relationship began.
After the event, he flew back to his hometown in Texas with his lovely wife, and our friendship continued through, would you know it?!, social media! Through the natural flow of twitter updates, facebook interactions, picture sharing, etc., we slowly got to know one another. In years past, without the platform of social media, my interaction with Eddie and his wife would have been a one-time meeting. Instead, getting to know Eddie through SM, that relationship was given the ability to be sustained.
A fun thing, too, is that over the course of developing friendship in a few months, that friendship has now gracefully turned into a business relationship. The foundation of that business relationship was not built solely on clicks, tweets, and robotic moves, but was built on consistent witty and honest exchanges, watching their Christmas tree be decorated on Christmas and hearing stories about this or that family event. Through this natural process, I began to learn that this cool dude is not just someone I would trust in friendship, but someone I would trust in business.
And Eddie is just that–a cool dude! Everyone has a story, and Eddie is someone who has sure been through a lot. He is fun and engaging, sure, but that fact is only backed by who he is in person, with lines on his face and a look in his eyes that show that he’s seen a good deal; the character he possesses has been earned through hard and good times. But the lines of wisdom ’round his brow show nothing of bitterness, and after hearing his story, that is truly impressive.
Perhaps it’s this that has made us so honored to now be working closely with Eddie on his Sikk Shades Campaign. Having a little (little=a lot) experience with the sports industry and people, Eddie had the idea of producing a new line of stylish sunglasses that were durable, yet fashionable, meanwhile showcasing breakthroughs in design and technology. Starting out, Eddie says, “The vision was clear. But the road? Not so clear.” He knew the product he wanted and sized up the time it would take to get there, and thus the journey began…
“I knew I wanted sunglasses that were stylish enough, safe enough, and durable enough for outdoor-oriented people to wear during their chosen pursuits,” says Eddie. “The best way to learn their preferences was simply to ask! I consulted with many, many action sport athletes — as well as Olympic hopefuls in many disciplines – asking questions and taking notes.” And after much more research, Eddie’s dream is finally coming to fruition in a brand called Sikk Shades.
Here are the fast details:
First!–These shades are hand-made in Italy. Hand-made. With care. Second!–The frames are perfectly weighted with the purpose of reducing pressure points and fatigue. Third!–A flush, padded, nonslip nose cradle is positioned on every pair of glasses to prevent irritation of slippage when perspiration begins. And Fourth!–The SikkShades technology features Carl Zeiss’ Flash Electric Coating, a process that infuses the iridium of the lens, which enables each lens to outperform polarized lenses in many tests measuring glare, clarity, and UV protection.
Impressed? I used to work at Sunglass Hut, so I can pop this sunshade information off like it’s my birthday. But seriously, I already have the Huckleberry model (an over-sized wayfarer) and the frames are lightly comfy and stylish and lenses are protective. Bam! Do I seem just a little passionate about all this? Perhaps I am! And I can only attribute that to the fact that Eddie is a legit dude who, like I said, I would trust in friendship and thusly trust in business. At Sikk Shades, he is committed to educating the consumer on what it actually takes to produce quality sunglasses, as well as making sure that the consumer doesn’t have to bust to bank to get them.
As Sikk Shades is in the beginning stages of production, here’s how you can get your hands on a pair: order and test-drive a pair of these cutting edge iconic frames with matching iridium lens at cost –- roughly half of retail price. Be first among your friends to be seen with the “SikkShades by Eddie Bauer Jr” frame on your face, before they hit the mainstream, and if you’d like to support our efforts, Sikk Shades has a few of affordable options for any budget!
To all the details for receiving your pair, go
here!–> SikkShades by Eddie Baurer Jr.
Like mentioned earlier, it amazes me how social media can truly develop lasting friendships, and we here at ETC are truly honored to be supporting Eddie in any way we can! Cheers! Emily Otteson