What would you say if I told you that you learned everything you need to know about social networking in grade school?
On a recent visit to my kids’ school, I came across some signs that were posted in the library. To my eye, these signs screamed social networking strategy.
Here are some of the more memorable ones:
Do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
When you start out in social networks, it sure can feel like no one is looking. You create a Twitter account and start with zero followers. Your initial blog posts have few shares and no comments.
Yet the way you attract followers and engagement is to act like people are paying attention. Determine your strategy and then execute – whether anyone appears to care or not.
Do the right thing in social networking, even when no one is looking, and eventually the people you are looking for will find you.
Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it.
This message is so important – in life and in social networking.
In life, it’s about having a moral compass and knowing the difference between right and wrong regardless of what people are doing.
In social, I think this message translates into having your own strategic vision and plan.
For instance, jumping on the social bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it won’t work for most businesses. You need to figure out what is the right strategy for your business and then follow that path, even if your competitors are doing something else – or nothing at all.
Stop looking for “best practices” because that’s the stuff that everyone is already doing and you’ll never differentiate yourself and gain competitive advantage by following the herd.
Before you engage in social networks, T.H.I.N.K.
This message is intended for kids just starting out in social networks, but it is just as important as a reminder to business people.
No one wants to read your marketing drivel.
People want truthful information that helps them – not “helps them buy your product”, just helps them. They want to be inspired and entertained. They have little time and they don’t want to waste it.
Kindness, thoughtfulness and caring goes a long way in this world. Build your social networking strategy around it.
I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.
Like anything that is worthwhile in life, building credibility and trust in social networks is not easy. It’s hard work. It can be a real struggle when you’re striving to create value for people in your network.
But people appreciate it. And they reciprocate. And they make it worth your while.
As hard as it may seem, if you set out to serve your network, you will reap the rewards.
It’s okay to not know but it’s not okay to not try.
Anyone that has raised kids knows this is one of the most important factors in success. You can’t accomplish anything if you don’t try. A winner is just a loser that tried one more time.
Yet, I meet people every single day that don’t try.
There’s lots that these people don’t know about social networking, but they’re not comfortable admitting that.
So, they make excuses. They say they’re too busy. They say social is for kids. They say it’s too risky.
Admit what you don’t know and start trying.
Amazing what you learned in grade school, don’t you think?