Is Social Media a Left or Right Brain Activity?

You guessed correctly – it's both.

Left and Right Brain - JeffKorhan.com
Social media networking and marketing requires both creative and analytical skills.  And few of us are proficient at both. 

Left brain thinkers tend to be more linear and analytical.  Right brain thinkers tend to rely on more circular methods of organization and creative solutions.  A tip to keep the two straight is to associate the "L" of linear and left, and by deduction you know the right brain relates to the creative and intuitive skills.

Today I had a conversation with an association exec who was lamenting the fact that their social media planning and implementation was becoming unwieldy due to the fact that the necessary skill sets are spread out among many offices.  She made the observation that there are left and right brain activities, and she has to delegate them accordingly to get the work done.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses may gain some insights from this for better managing their own social media activities, as well as some solace that they are not alone in their challenges. 

Regardless of how many heads and hands you count on to pitch in, you should design a whole-brain approach that strategically maximizes the talents that are abundant in your organization.

Right Brain Activities

Content Creation

If you plan to be successful with blogging or any other social media activity, you need a steady flow of ideas.  This is never a problem for me, which tells me I'm predominantly a right brain person.  I personally believe this is an advantage with this platform because ideas, stories and anecdotes are what make the social networks come alive.

The problem with all of this creative thinking is applying it to get pragmatic results.  Look at all of the micro-bloggers.  You sometimes wonder if there is a point to all of that chatter.  In many cases there isn't!  Consider brainstorming sessions to combine the talents of two people who can together create ideas and then use them to get results that matter for your business.

Graphics

There is good news here.  These skills are not necessary to succeed with social media.  If you search in your local community your will find these talents for a reasonable cost.  What may be challenging for you could take just a few minutes for someone proficient in that skill.

You can also take the time to get more proficient with how basic software such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.  I created the graphic for this post on Foursquare with MS Word.  It does the job.  Here's a tip:  Save your graphics from Word or the Web into MS PowerPoint.  Then do a 'Save As' to a jpeg file.  Then load that up to Picnik to clean it up and crop it to fit.  That's what I did with this one in less than 5 minutes.

Presentation Skills

No matter how talented you are, most presentation skills take practice.  You cannot just pick up a camcorder and start shooting – although many do, and that minimizes their effectiveness.  You need to develop an understanding of eye-contact, organizing the content, and otherwise being natural in your delivery.  This post I created a couple years ago on video presentation skills may be helpful.

The same goes for writing skills.  There are many posts in this blog on writing skills.  Here's one on writing a quality blog post with an emphasis on speed.  If you want more, just use the Google search box on my home page to search for blog tips or check out my Best Of tab.  There are no secrets here; you still have to practice. 

Left Brain Activities

Database Management

Thanks to Batchbook, this is getting easier for me.  However you manage your contacts and lists, my suggestion is to keep it all Web-based.  Databases on your computer or server are going to crash at some point.  Let someone else manage that burden. 

Though the most valuable aspect of Web-based databases is that they integrate seamlessly with the many other social media and Internet marketing services that are also Web based.  This is a trend you don't want to ignore.  Plus, I can assure you that you will save money in the long run, while also having access to the latest technology.

Internet Marketing

This can be an activity that sucks up a lot of your time.  Though the main reason I minimize my use of eNewsletters is most people don't want them.  We are on the cusp of this becoming old-school.  I still do it with Mail Chimp, but I do it sparingly – no more than six times a year.  MailChimp allowed me to easily insert a sign-up box right here on the home page of this blog.

One tip I recently learned is that actual snail mail is working better for some of my speaker friends. Paradoxically, it comes across as more personal these days.  We appreciate that someone took the time to send us a personal, hand-crafted message.

Execution

This is a classic left brain skill, and one that us right-brainers highly value.  Why is that?  Because we are so busy traveling in our minds between new ideas that we fail to get the job done. Fortunately, I've managed to discipline myself to get this blog to you every day, and that's only because I enjoy doing it.

Take a Strategic Approach

If you are building a social media marketing plan for your business, consider looking at it from the front and the back.  The right-brainers will start at the front with the technology they love.  The left-brainers will start with the customers they love.  You need to do both and meet in the middle.

Here's my simple 3M Method:

  1. Market – Understand what the people you are serving really need. 
  2. Model - Build a social media process that extends your business model – one that makes it better.
  3. Mindset – This is social platform.  Change your mindset from clients and customers … to communities of friends
    .

The rest is a no-brainer!

Photo Credit:  vaxzine

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Comments

  1. I like your Mindset methods, changing your mindset from client and customers to communities of friends. However, I suggest you to add one word: targeted. Targeted communities of friends can truly bring you business!

  2. Anna – Absolutely. It always helps to know you are trying to help. :)

    Jeff

  3. I like the last bit of your post, Change your mindset from clients and customers … to communities of friends.” That’s the key to social media. I keep telling people stop thinking like you need to sell every soul you meet. Start thinking about helping/serving your friends.

  4. Jason – Most important is that mindset. Some of us need to work at that, but once you find that gear, the results start to happen much more naturally.

    It makes the work a lot more fun an easier!

    Jeff

  5. The way you study shows, which part of your brain is stronger. Say if you prefer to study lying down or sitting up erect is not only relative to your study habits but also which part of the brain you use to study. When left-brain students read or listen, they look for pieces so that they can draw logical conclusions. They have no problem comprehending or expression oral or written language. Right brain students know how they feel but have trouble expressing it in words.
    http://www.healthandsoul.com/left-brain-right-brain.html

  6. Glen – It probably comes down to the fact that we are all unique and have qualities of both – even varying from time to time depending upon circumstances in our environment.

    It is an interesting topic. :)

    Jeff

  7. Although I agree with your sentiments, this
    is not actually how the left and right brain
    work. This is a fallacy that was born in the 1970s, but many people who were instrumental in starting this fad have long since abandoned it.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Valentino – Indeed, there are many perspectives on how the brain works.

      Doubtful we will fully comprehend its complexities and limitless capabilities.

      But we have to start somewhere. :)

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