Social Media Success – 5 Cups Of Wisdom To Consume Daily

Success in social media isn’t rocket science. It’s isn’t about a countdown that leads to a takeoff.

Jay Bear succintly put it on his blog post, Are You Slow Enough To Succeed In Social Media, when he said:

The fundamental premise of social business is that you are interacting and engaging with customers and prospects on a one to one or one to few basis. And that takes time. Trust takes time. Creating advocacy takes time. You build a volunteer marketing army one soldier at a time, not overnight.

It’s more like a small oak seed soaking up water and sunlight, sprouting into a sapling and growing into a big tree.

So often, we get blinded by the speed of everything that happens in the social world, that we lose sight of what it’s really about.

Every day, every moment, windows of opportunity open for us to make a difference – and connect. And yet we keep ignoring these windows – keep blowing up the small opportunities – in search of that ever elusive, big-bag grand take off.

There are a few things we do everyday, don’t we? So much so, we are auto-conditioned to responses, as scientifically determined by Ivan Pavlov in his experiment.

We drink tea and/or coffee at the same time every day. Ditto with our lunch, dinner and snacks. So much so, it’s getting close to the 4 pm mark now – and I’ve already started thinking about my afternoon cup of tea!

Point is, if auto-conditioning is a reality in the physical world – and almost every thing we do, why is it that we don’t relate to it when it comes to success in social media? It should – and could!

I like to call this concept the 5 daily cups of wisdom that lead to social media success. These are pretty simple concepts, actually – and when consistently applied become a second nature – just like the auto-conditioned responses:

1. Keep It Simple:

You don’t need the latest social media automation software – or get on the latest fad to make your social media successful. You just need to pick and choose the right channels, ones that make sense for you, and what you’re trying to do.

Play to the powerful aspects of the channels you choose – and don’t go overboard with having too many things in your plate at the same time.

Keeping it simple in social media is more like the zen principle of mind-like-water. Slow down – and you’ll see that that the things you were chasing will come back and search you out.

2. Be Authentic:

Be yourself. You can’t be successful in social media without being absolutely human, transparent and honest. This place is a great leveller of life – and if you bring in even a whit of con and dishonestly – you’re just playing to lose.

Being authentic fosters real connections, which is what will make you social world successful, and will help you shine out.

3. Live In A Glass House:

In the words of George Herbert,

Whose house is of glasse must not throw stones at another.

Being successful in social media is like building a glass house for yourself – and then staying in it. It’s not just about you – it’s about everyone else in your world.

If all you care about is self-promotion, you’re in the wrong place my friend. You’ll be better off buying airtime on prime time television – or the late night slots!

The third cup of success wisdom is to care, share and give. In your own social worlds:

  • Care for the emotions and feelings of your connections
  • Share your knowledge, insights and wisdom
  • Give relevant information – on the sidelines – that makes everyone a little bit wiser.

And if you still have time and energy left after all this, send out a tweet or two that’s talks about you. I like to call this playing stewardship in social media.

4. Create Your Own Blend:

If you’re a connoisseur of coffee or tea, you know how much you long for your own special and favorite blends. Same thing goes for wine lovers. Works with perfumes too.

The idea here is being able to create your own blend of social media – blending the channels, blending online/offline, blending verticals – anything that creates a unique “you” blend. Like a master perfume.

As WooThemes did it in the Mashable case study, you can tie social media into anything.

Some of the blends won’t work – and that’s the way it should be. You, like Thomas Edison, will need a thousand failures before discovering a blend that does work.

5. Keep Sight Of The Big Picture:

Why are you in social media? What’s your definition of the big picture?

For WooThemes, their big picture was traffic, Twitter interactions and sales. The original case study on how WooThemes used their semi-annual corporate retreat into a social media success is an amazing, awesome and inspiring read. You’ll probably end up coming out of it with a bunch of additional inspirations and personal a-has.

For Mike Cliffe-Jones, it is readers and subscribers. Mike talks about this on his blog – and the sales page for the Beginners Guide To Blogging book.

Define your big picture, and keep it in sight at all times. Sure, you’ll have to make changes to it as you move along – adding a tree, building a bridge, dropping a bird – but if everything you do and get doesn’t add up to the big picture, it just isn’t social media success. You need a time-out to reevaluate – and recalibrate.

What do you think? Would you start consuming these five cups of social media success wisdom every day? Or are these already a part of your social media diet?

(Image Credit: Eduardo Mueses http://www.flickr.com/photos/emueses/)

2 Responses to Social Media Success – 5 Cups Of Wisdom To Consume Daily
  1. Jimi Jones
    Twitter: JimiJones
    July 27, 2010 | 1:11 pm

    Hey Kapil.

    Good post, man. Your first point about keeping it simple is one of the most important. Often people establish too many profiles and employ far too many tools to make the social media experience an enjoyable one. Numerous profiles leaves little time to make quality visits and engage with others, you’re always behind on updates.

    It’s a mistake I made early on in blogging. I learned that you only need a few outpost as most of the people you interact with will be on the most popular sites. Going at a less hectic pace is a must.

    Being authentic is also critical. People can tell when things are not quite right, it’s a 6th sense we all have. Being yourself is always easy anyhow. šŸ™‚
    Jimi Jones recently posted… Creative Ways to Spread Your Brand

    • Kapil Apshankar
      July 29, 2010 | 1:46 pm

      You’re right Jimi – if there were just two things that I was asked to pick in my own social media efforts, I would go with:

      1. Slowing down and
      2. Being authentic

      Everything else will automatically fall into place!