It is day 1. It is cold and quiet here in Minnesota and it is cold and quiet in my social media world. I woke up ready to be the super social media player I know I can be. I posted my first blog. Yeah! My first success! Then I went back and read the blog, quite satisfied with myself. As I sat there, watching my lovely blog, something became very clear to me. Nothingness. I just spent a long evening crafting a beautiful entry, but if I was lucky, two or three of my friends, and maybe my mom would read it. The question became clear. Was blogging simply my personal form of shouting into the darkness? Would anyone hear? Would anyone care? It is like if I opened my front door and yelled into the frozen Minnesota woods–yeah, I’m pretty sure there is no one there. Even the squirrels are too pre-occupied to take notice of what I have to say. I think the same could be said for my blog.
So, here is my first social media task: let people know I have just blogged something fabulous. I begin by considering the tools I have. I will start with what I understand. I have a Facebook page and I know how to do a status update. In fact, if I do say so myself, I have been known to craft a couple of tremendous posts. They don’t come around often, but when they do, I know some people fall to their knees, moved by the 3 or 4 sentences I choose to share with each and every one of my Facebook friends. Yeah, ok, I am a lurker, not a poster. Sometimes I think about what I could say, but then look at that big empty space under the “update status” button and quickly hit escape, praying I didn’t somehow just send some weird link or swear word by accident to all 224 of my closest friends.
I understand that to be an effective social media minister, I have to somehow conquer this fear of Facebook failure. But, for now, I am going to use Facebook as a megaphone. I already worked really hard on putting together that blog, so I might as well capitalize on that and use it to jump start my new Facebook life.
So, I get the link to my blog. I see my first problem—the link is like 3 pages long. I spend another 20 minutes looking through my blog program and find a “URL shortcut” process that renames and shortens my link. Be aware, you probably don’t want to make the link too short or mysterious. According to United Methodist Communications, people on Facebook like to see where they are linking to. I guess not even my friends will completely trust a weird-looking link.
I provide a blurb, add the link and the Facebook post is up! Then I see something that takes my breath away. Within the first 2 minutes, someone “liked” it! I actually think it would take longer than 2 minutes to read the blog–but that’s ok, I’m not complaining. Someone likes me! Someone actually likes me! Oh, maybe this social life is better than I thought.
2 Replies to “Day 1: Social Media Challenge–Can anyone hear me? Anyone?”
Social Media is sort of like being one of those people on the sidelines of a Marathon race handing out cups of water. The rest of the world, the runners. There's not much to it really – a plastic cup, water, voila. However, you could be some enterprising person with a lot of ideas who has combined a form a pickle juice, potassium and sugar to make the water rejuvenating to the runners. Awesome! However, runners will simply grab cup, swig, toss cup and move on. Only after a race might they realize that indeed that water was better, unique, more refreshing. Perhaps even, next time one particular runner hits the race, s/he might deviate a bit to grab your cup of water. This generates interest. Suddenly more runners! Perhaps even a mention after the race about this one person who hands out good beverage. Attention multiplies, exponentially. However, it is short lived. For, though good, all that is really needed for runner to continue is water. There are thousands of people on the sidelines handing out cups of water. Running is the goal. Social media satisfies a need. These are deep and complex, but visceral. [Pardon the non-sentences].
Love the offering-a-water analogy. And then, sometimes, water becomes the main event.