Do you believe social media is a waste of time for growing your business? I often hear this when speaking to audiences. Today virtually everyone is aware of social media, and they are using it to get results, but only a few can honestly say it is working for them. Why do they feel this way? I believe it is a combination of expectations and patience.
A green industry friend recently made the off-hand comment that social media wasn't necessarily helping his business, but that he is pleased to be learning more about his colleagues, employees, and customers – specifically the interesting happenings involving their uniquely personal lives. As soon as he said that, he realized that social media was proving to be a valuable tool for giving him new perspectives with which to build stronger relationships. Indeed, this is exactly one of the benefits of using this tool.
Now that the leaves are beginning to fall here in the Midwest, you could also say it a waste of time to clean them up with a shovel, a tool that is intended for other purposes. It sure is, especially if there is a rake or a leaf blower available. Even that rake may not be the right tool if its a windy day. You see, there are variables in everything we do. Just as with those leaves, when using your social media tools you need to step back and have the patience to evaluate what you are trying to do, how you are trying to do it, and whether or not the time is appropriate.
If you are using Twitter to build close friendships, it probably isn't going to happen. But it can be a start. This is how I met Chris Heiler within the Twitter stream when we discovered we had something in common; we are both green industry leaders. After a few casual conversations off the social networks that served to build trust, we partnered on a couple of joint ventures that have been profitable for both of us. We're not talking a lot of money here, but then I've enjoyed the process and have made a friend too. It just took a little patience.
Anyone that plays golf knows the tools of that game seem to be the most ill-equipped for the desired results, until you learn how to use them. Though if you are willing to invest some time, you will occasionally experience those rare moments when you hit a long iron stiff to the pin. It is then that they seem to be the most beautiful implements you have ever held in your hands! You may only understand this if you have played the game, endured the challenges, practiced, and extended more patience than most of us care to admit to. This is not just a metaphor, but also a challenge for learning what is possible with your social media efforts.
There aren't many magic bullets in life. The successful know it comes down to hard work, persistence, patience, and especially learning the finer details of your craft. That's what I love about social media. There is a natural, organic quality about this medium that challenges you to keep studying and adapting to the changes as you progress. Trust me on this, it definitely keeps changing, and that is guaranteed to continue!
Give social media a chance, learn to develop perspective, and above all, be patient – and you will get results that will keep you coming back again. Why do you think golfers keep teeing it up week after week? It is for the hope of repeating those glorious moments that make the endeavor worthwhile. You have to experience it for yourself to know it is worth it.
Since blogging is the cornerstone of your social media presence, here is a link to an earlier post that may help to shorten your learning curve for Writing for Blog Posts and Social Media. Give it a try, have some patience, and I guarantee you will find your way for getting what you want.
Photo Credit: WasabiDoobie