Social Media is Like. . .

Posted by Stefanie Peterson

Image1.jpgA lot of people and businesses aren’t sure how social media works and why they should use it. Sometimes, it’s hard to understand the concept of Facebook or the proper etiquette for Instagram. To picture it, imagine it like this. . .

Social media is like a party. Imagine walking into a party where you hardly know anyone. To meet people, you strike up a conversation to learn about them and their passions. You wouldn't walk up to someone and just start prattling on about yourself, your job, or business. Out of courtesy, people would listen for a little while, but walk away feeling unconnected. But, imagine if you start talking about something that interests them and they join the conversation. They start smiling, laughing, and telling their friends about the interesting conversation they just had with you. That is social media. Constantly posting things about you and your business bores your customer. To keep them engaged, talk about things that interest them, interspersed with news about your business, promotions, and products.

Social media is like an oven. Imagine you’re baking a cake. You combine all the ingredients, get the frosting ready, and decide on sprinkles. Now, it's time to bake it. To save time, would you stick this batter in a microwave? Most certainly not; you'd place it in a cake pan and put it in the oven. It takes some time, maybe four or five times longer than nuking it. After baking, you let it cool down and then ice it delicately. You put the sprinkles on and place it on a beautiful platter. That is social media. It takes time to build an audience and get your brand name out there. You could cut corners and save time with other means, but the results would be less than palatable.

Social media is like building a house. First, you need to set a strong foundation depending on the type of soil, bedrock, or sand you’re building on. Think of the location you’re building in: Who lives there? What is the community like? What are the zoning laws like? What types of homes are the people in the area looking for? Don’t forget: When building a home, there’s the design, room layouts, and utilities. That is social media. It takes planning and knowledge of the specifics to ensure success. You can build a house anywhere, but you need to build a home people are interested in for them to occupy it.

Social media is like a garden. Planting seeds and watching flowers bloom is such a rewarding feeling. You need to water, nurture, fertilize, weed, and prune your garden to ensure it stays healthy and beautiful. You choose which flowers, vegetables, or fruits you’d like to grow. Do you pick annuals or perennials? What grows best in the soil in your area? If you don’t care for your plants, they will wither and no longer bloom or bear fruit. You can’t just plant the seeds and walk away, expecting the garden to flourish. That is social media. It takes effort to cultivate the right audience and grow followers; you can’t just build a page and do nothing. You need to post, advertise, listen, respond, and invite followers for your presence to be successful.

When you take the monolith of social media and put it into a frame of reference, it’s easier to understand. It’s not as intimidating, making it easier and easier to be successful.

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