Every success that I have had with social media can be traced back to this: Having the faith that my efforts will eventually yield the desired results.
I know that may sound like an idealistic perspective, but it is nonetheless true.
You have to get in the game of life and work at it to get what you want. It's as simple as that. And social media is no different.
Indeed, it helps to have a plan, and I would strongly advise having a carefully designed strategic plan. But you then have to be willing to let this ecosystem work its magic. And just be prepared for the fact that it will do so on its own time.
A True Story
Yesterday I returned from a speaking engagement on a flight that was delayed due to storms here in Chicago. Like everyone else, I was in a hurry to get off of that plane. Having no checked baggage, I sent periodic texts to update my wife who was there waiting for me as soon as I got to the curb.
As I was loading my luggage into the car I suddenly realized I had left my favorite golf jacket on the plane. So, I ran back up to the Southwest Airlines ticket counter and pleaded my case. I waited impatiently while the attendant called the gate. No jacket was found she said. I was uncharacteristically calm as she checked whatever she was checking.
Finally, she said. "Look, here's a boarding pass. You had better get to gate B21 and check for yourself." I darted off and ran to security, begging for permission to cut the line, which I was granted. I finally got to gate B21 when the lady there said … "nope."
Nope? "You have the wrong gate. It's B8." I doubled back, squeezing past a sea of more weary travelers before finally arriving at that gate. The next flight was boarding. Once again, I cut the line and announced I had to have that jacket. "Wait a minute," she said as she stopped the boarding process and closed the door to look for it.
So, now I have about 70 people looking at me with this incredulous expression; How can one guy stop the boarding process like this?
I sat down and wiped the sweat off my brow. And for some reason I wanted to smile as I looked at them looking at me. I felt like Dustin Hoffman in the closing scene of film The Graduate when everyone on that bus was staring at the successful conclusion of his frenzied pursuit of Elaine (Katherine Ross). You just want to burst out laughing – as he did!
More importantly, I had this feeling that when the attendant opened that door again she would be holding my jacket. She did. Success! I was so excited that I went back up to ticketing to thank the lady that helped me, but everyone was gone by then.
Not much later that night, when I finally went to bed I was about to plug in my iPhone by my beside as usual when I realized something. Uh oh, I left my charger plugged in at the hotel.
The next morning I called the Hyatt Regency and left a message about the lost charger. Not hearing anything, I called back this afternoon. "Nope, no charger in room 1744. Can you wait a minute, she said?" I did. Once again, I just had this feeling. "Is it a white iPhone charger?" Yes it is. Success again!
You Cannot Make This Up
Your successes with social media will feel just like these two experiences that occurred within a span of 12 hours. And they will be preceded by many dead-ends and plenty of frustrations. That's life.
And that's social media.
The question is very simple.
Do you still want to be in the game?
I don't know about you, but successes like this keep me in the game. They sustain me. They add excitement to the process. When I get a lead from my social media networking and marketing that results in new business … woot! It's celebration time.
It makes it all worthwhile.
You can analyze all of the analytics you want, but the truth is it all comes down to successes that are the result of your efforts – AND some help by those that help you.
So, give that help to others in your communities, because that supports the ecosystem that will one day be there to help you.
That's how these crazy ecosystems work – the one called social media, and the other called life.
Finally, I shared this story with my kids who aren't familiar with The Graduate. If you aren't either, or you want to see that final scene one more time, here is that scene. He gets the girl. I got the jacket!
The car he drives is a classic Alpha Romeo Spider.
If you have experienced something like this, leave a comment and share your story. Or you can share this post with your community of friends with the LIKE or ShareThis buttons.
until Tomorrow, Jeff