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Social Media – Down by the River

Social Media – Down by the River

Hmm, how to turn this into a sports analogy?  OK, I grew up on a river, and sometimes it was a sport just to stay alive because boys growing up on a river go looking for trouble! I titled this Down by the River for one of my favorite SNL clips. And in case you are wondering, I grew up in a Log Cabin versus a van down by the river.

So what can we learn from growing up on a river when it comes to social media?

1. Don’t just stick your toe in

A river can be downright cold, and I always had those friends and relatives who would just stick their toe in to see how cold it was.  Then a foot…then one leg, and you just wanted to DUNK THEM!  It was excruciating to watch especially if they had high-pitched exclamations on just how cold it was (and that was just the fellow football players). Dive on in and get to the fun stuff. You can be a social media lurker forever, but that doesn’t help you meet your goals regardless of whether those goals are simply becoming more social or building a trusted following for your brand. Tweet regularly, update Facebook and LinkedIn statuses and post photos, slideshows, reading lists and references.

2. Check the water depth

When you grow up on a river, you feel a huge compulsion to jump off of anything that overhangs that river (rock, tree, rope swing, railroad bridge). You do not want to be surprised with a water depth of 6ft, or underwater debris) when jumping off a 50ft railroad bridge! Check out Wile E Coyote at 0:46 when he didn’t check the proper depth for his dive…Define the depth of your social media goals before diving in, and consider using your swimming buddies (blog experts and social media book authors) to help you with those goals. Are you an active marketer or do you just want to develop a trusting tribe based upon what you give to the community. Stay real, transparent and non-pushy and they will pay you back with patronage/mentions/retweets/likes/shares/etc.

3. Watch out for last minute changes

Anybody try to change a dive into feet-first at the last moment, or over-rotate a flip, resulting in a painful belly flop? Determine your persona on each social network, and stay disciplined with your approach. The Internet remembers all things, so do not post controversial content to your Facebook page or be inappropriate with blog/LinkedIn group comments. Put some thought into your Twitter ID because you do not want to lose a large following by changing IDs to better suit your branding purposes later.

I would love your comments on this light-hearted Friday humor. Where are you on your own social media strategy…diving in or just sticking a toe in the water? Finally, here is a shout-out to @fondalo for being my accountability partner to write this post! In a later post, I’ll explain the “sport” of chasing armadillos and watching out for snakes (and skunks and ANGRY possums :)).

Photo Credit: Rope Swing Beach by CJ Sorg, on Flickr

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. I literally learned about the majority of this, but with that in mind, I still thought it was valuable. Great post!

  2. Remember you need to know how to swim before you jump so have the basics down first… Hmm… just a side thought, were you ever on the rail road bridge and a train came by???

  3. Actually, I was once. I was crossing a big span when a train was coming. Water too shallow, so I was hoofing it across those railroad ties to get to the other side and trying not to look down. See what I mean by growing up in the country is a sport all to itself?

    Definitely agree on having the basics down first, so define that social media strategy before jumping in all different directions! It is too hard to recover in the “Internet that never forgets”.


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