In the Social World, You Get What You Give

I’ve spent last year studying it intently (the communication strategy behind it, its technical tools, all of the do’s and don’ts, tips and tricks…and still, I feel like I’m running on a never-ending social media treadmill.

Though I consider myself to be highly competent in the social media realm, I have to admit that lately, my numbers and stats have been less than encouraging: SproutSocial informed me that my engagement levels had dropped and my message volume had decreased significantly. Throughout the whole week, I watched tweeps exchange Klout influence mentions, without any sign that I am influencing anyone, and not a single soul commented on a short blog post I wrote last week. I felt like a sad truck…like a social media nobody. 

My sad truck face needed an immediate injection of double rainbow.
Actually, it needed an IV drip. With some cosmic good fortune, I happened upon the encouragement I so desperately needed in the form of a simple tweet: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” (Sir Winston Churchill). After reading this, I instantly felt better.

I realized that the social media big shots out there all started at the bottom – but they had the courage to rise to the top. They all began with one follower and one “hello world” tweet; and likely experienced the same sad truck days as me. Sure, courage is one of the most defining traits in successful people but it couldn’t have been solely this instrinsic quality that got them to where they are today. No. If that were the truth, anyone who possessed a bit of passion  and drive would be sitting on a veritable social media throne, with a shiny sceptre engraved by Mark Zuckerberg. Hell, I’d be a CEO at age 27 if that were all it took.

So what does it take? The social world spins based on sharing and support systems. They’re as important online as the sun is to sustaining life on Earth. Those who are successful are the courageous ones who realize that everyone is worth something. In the online world, you get what you give. (There is a brilliant video by Jason Silvestri on support systems here)

What I learned is that, instead of deflating myself and wondering why I’m not making an impact, I could be spending my energy on giving: giving advice, giving, props, giving smiles, sharing a laugh, promoting a great project, retweeting a brilliant thought. And by doing this, my words can touch people across the world, I will influence in my own way and it is with great hope that this social karma will come back to me.

So, tell me…how can I help you? What can I give?

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