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Posts Tagged ‘connecting’


You hear it all time in this country: if you want to take advantage of the American dream, think big. Reach for the stars and you will succeed. Tons of motivational speakers make a living of this very principle, telling people that the best way to change your situation is to go for it, raise the bar and “boom!” you will be a success. Is this not the greatest country in the world? The land of success? The land of the winner? The land of Big Ideas? The land of #1? If you can just ATTACK it and be everywhere at all times, YOU, my friend will be able to do this:

Now, we are not saying that vision and focus are bad things, but we do take issue when so much on the Internet and social media perpetuates this myth of THINKING BIG, ACTING BIG, and BEING #1. What is happening right now with the social media craze, is that the message is being twisted and exploited: there is so much misinformation out there that is just not true. And people are paying for this advice! Paying for it.

This is what is happening in social media: We are buying into the hype of getting the most followers, getting on the most social networks, making the most friends, being the most popular that in the end, you wonder why people feel a “social media burnout.”

You know why? Because no human being, no matter how good or savvy or sharp or connected, can be THE everyone to everyone else. No human being can constantly engage people and maintain valid relationships that matter. Sure, if you are a major brand or business, your reach might go deeper. But even then, if you don’t have 10, 20, 30, 100, 200 (or ALL your employees, like Best Buy) people pushing your brand, you won’t reach everyone.

And that is the irony of social media: by having the tools to reach the entire world (see the hype here), you in essence risk reaching no one.

The reason is a simple one: because our obsession with numbers and followers and updates and statistics overshadows the TRUE goal of social media—to authentically connect with one individual (or one brand) and establish an enduring and valuable relationship. Very few companies and people (very few) can accomplish this on a wide scale. It’s hard work. And for the other 99% of us, we wonder why we just want to just give it up. We never feel we have made #1, when in fact, we never consider how many great relationships we have made along the journey.

So DON’T THINK BIG, THINK SMALL.

So if you are using social media for your business and if you are on 20 social sites, cut it down to five. Work those five as well as you can, especially if those five are the five you know your customers, fans, supporters, buyers, partners, associates, vendors, etc. reside in.

If you just care about numbers and are not giving back to your tribe, stop and reach out to your tribe right now. Start talking and better still, listen more.

If you have lost focus and feel no one is listening to you or caring about your message (maybe because you are caught up the numbers?), change the direction, find your true personality and start small. Reach out to one, make a connection, then reach out to another. Connect. And then repeat and repeat. And repeat again. And then some.

Converse and don’t just post. Live a two-way life, and not a one-way message. No one cares about your one-way message. They don’t. You know why? Because those people who think are listening to you are also being distracted from some many things. So to stay relevant, you better (you must) make sure you are always advancing the conversation and giving to others. Prop others up because this is the right thing to do and not because you have to.

Once you are “thinking small,” big things will happen.

A special acknowledgment needs to be made to Stew Friedman for his perspective on this and how thinking small leads to more creative business leadership. Also, giving it up to Charles M. Schulz for his brilliance.

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