Life Lessons For Social Media Marketing – 3 Perspectives From A Parenting World

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding life experiences.

The journey of a new life from the baby’s cry through the wonderfully captivating stages of early years is something that every parent cherishes. These are the moments that truly take the breath away – not only in terms of the happiness and positive experiences, but also through the frustrations and disappointments.

I’m the parent of two wonderful kids – a son who’s stepping into his 4th year and showing every moment that he’s a toddler – a force to reckon with; and a 7 month old daughter, who right now seems to be the perfect anti-thesis of my son.

Which is also the reason why I related amazingly well to two posts from Tamar Weinberg and Natalie Bourre a few weeks ago. Both these posts resonated and struck a chord in my heart, with a desire to blend my perspective in the mix – which culminates in this post.

In her original post, 6 Things Parenthood Taught Me About Social Media Marketing, Tamar shared her perspective about social media marketing from the POV of the mom of a one year old. That post get me both laughing and thinking at the same time – laughing because I related to the metaphor so very well, and thinking because it was so very true! The original post is worth a read by itself, but here’s the gist:

  1. You need to do it all the time
  2. You don’t get a vacation
  3. It’s going to be difficult at first
  4. The relationship grows stronger every day
  5. You need to nurture it
  6. Sometimes there will be bumps

Which parent wouldn’t agree with this? šŸ˜‰

To add on to Tamar’s original post, Nat provided a toddler perspective on social media marketing as a follow up. Once again, her post is absolutely brilliant and readable in totality. Here’s the gist of her post:

  1. Listen and put into context
  2. Adapt to changes quickly
  3. Remain calm during a tantrum

Here are a few more insights of wisdom about social media marketing based on my share of a-ha’s as the parent of a baby/toddler:

Nurture is easy when you can focus:

Have you ever watched the stress and “busyness” parents of twins go through? Or triplets?

With a single baby, everything seems so easy in perspective. Same applies to social media marketing too. You want to be able to focus on a single “baby” at a time.

Try upbringing Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Orkut together at the same time, and the quality of nurturing is going to suffer.

Keep it easy, nurture one social media channel at a time – and you’ll end up less stressed out and more successful.

Don’t be afraid to have help at hand:

Not having help at hand during the first few weeks (or months) of a new baby can be very painful – and stressful. Ask my wife, and she’ll be able to attest to the importance of having help around.

Given a choice, don’t slug it alone. Rope in help through friends, coaches and mentors – and you’ll be much more productive in your social media marketing efforts.

Every baby is different:

Every baby is different in temperament, aptitude and learning channels. Same applies to social media marketing as well. One size fits all approach doesn’t work too well with social media.You might discover that what works for Twitter, for example, might not go very well with LinkedIn.

Expect this, and be prepared to learn new strategics that are channel specific, and unlearn old ones that don’t work.

Keep the big picture in mind:

Social media marketing contributes to the big picture of what you’re trying to do – personally and professionally. It really isn’t an end in itself – only a tool to an end.It’s a journey, not a destination by itself.

In parenting, in spite of short term setbacks and failures, you keep focusing on the long term big picture. And that does make a difference!

Same applies to social media marketing. You won’t win every day, but small victories over a period of time will make a different.

In the words of a seasoned campaigner, small wins in most of the battles will ensure that you win the war.

Anything else that comes to your mind as a parent? Isn’t social media marketing amazingly similar to being a parent? šŸ™‚

(Image Credit: Matt Batchelor http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbatchelor/)

2 Responses to Life Lessons For Social Media Marketing – 3 Perspectives From A Parenting World
  1. Nat Bourre
    July 5, 2010 | 8:09 am

    What a great post! I especially agree with your comment that all babies are different, and yes all social media campaigns are unique as well, and they need to be treated differently as well. I look forward to seeing your future articles. By the way, I’m now following you on Twitter as well šŸ˜‰

    • Kapil Apshankar
      July 12, 2010 | 9:42 pm

      Thanks Nat. Glad you liked the post. As parents (of babies and toddlers), we have a very unique set of constraints – and I think that gives us a privileged perspective.

      You extension of the original post was wonderful in its own right – just loved it.

      I’ll see you on Twitter!