Jumping in to social media is like opening a box of chocolates, each platform offers its own unique flavor. Whether you log in for the purpose of selling a product, marketing a brand, managing a community, as a search engine or for being social, there is a tool, or combination of tools, to help you accomplish your goals. Social media has redefined the meaning of accessibility, authenticity, scale, and storytelling. William Gibson said, “One of the things our grandchildren will find quaintest about us is that we distinguish the digital from the real…In the future, that will become literally impossible.” Likewise, the differences between selling, marketing, managing, searching and being social, when effectively utilized, are difficult to distinguish. The key is to find balance between both social and emotional capital; to balance passion with the ability to communicate. Social media is not a job, it is an adventure, it has a life of its own, a box of tools, a journey of making personal connections and building relationships.
Over the past three years I have seen many different approaches to social media. While there is not a “magic bullet” answer on how to use social media successfully, there are three common characteristics portrayed by those who I see as influential and thought leaders.
- They see value in all people, without thinking of themselves.
- They find opportunity where others see adversity.
- They embrace different points of view, without judging.
Ray Prock, in the two previous posts, Social & Emotional Capital: Don’t Rely On A Bailout and Loyal Brand Advocates: It Takes Capital, hits on another key shared component, they are all advocates. They have successfully balanced both social and emotional capital.
In Mike Haley’s post, Agvocate Or Agtivist?, his comparison between the two is representative of how those that have the ability to engage in conversations are able to “reach beyond the choir.”
The combination of these three previous posts brings me to the idea of harmonizing. Harmony sounds pleasant to the ear when there is balance between “tense” and “relaxed” moments. The term harmony, derived from the Greek, means to fit together, to join. Ultimately, if we are to find a way to work together to solve challenges, we must find harmony. Those who successfully advocate, are influential or are thought leaders, find ways to harmonize with others, whether through common interest or shared passion.
10 Questions for personal reflection:
- Why are you involved in social media?
- What is your top priority in social media?
- Do you set goals and objectives as a part of a social media plan? What are they?
- Do your goals and objectives align with your top priority? Why or why not?
- What do you look for when seeking out people in social media?
- How do you approach new friends/customers in social media? Is it different than IRL (In Real Life)?
- What is your social media personality?
- What three words describe your brand according to you?
- What three words describe your brand according to others?
- Does your personality fit your brand? Or are you trying to be something you are not?
Social media is not a quick fix or solution to challenges. Social media is an investment that can yield long term returns from valued relationships. It is by finding ways to harmonize that we can engage in productive dialogue that leads to mutual understanding, respect and solutions resulting from joint collaboration.