A walk in the Park

Three days a week I go for a long walk in the Laguna Niguel Regional Park. My friend Silvia, my dog Boomer and I walk around a beautiful man-made lake early in the morning. Often, when we begin our walk, the weather is still cool and there is a heavy mist in the air, but by the time we are heading back, the mist is gone and the sun comes out and warms us.

It is a beautiful, serene place to start out my day. After a time my friend and I begin to see familiar faces, and although we don’t know their names, we greet each other warmly in passing. It’s mostly the other dog owners we end up having conversations with. Dogs know no social boundaries, they just come up and wag their tails, anxious for some chin scratches and kinds words. They are a great icebreaker.

I walk this path my friend, thankful for her company. I walk with my dog, thankful for his loving energy and spirit, and for the permission he gives me to stop and chat for a minute with people who would otherwise remain complete strangers. Although I work in social media, in order for me to accomplish the work people contract me to do, I am often alone, in front of a key board. Which for a person like myself, who is naturally a very social person, can be a little isolating. I relish those mornings and they renew me.

Social Media is for me something akin to those walks in the park. As I put myself, and my customers, out on the web, over time relationships begin to develop. Those relationships get stronger, and trust builds. That is the whole basis of the new way of marketing. It’s not an in your face form a sales, rather a way of building a relationship.

Because social media works more like a relationship, the traditional sales cycle is different. Companies who hire a social media company tend to view it as something akin to advertising. Where as most ads are written with a specific call to action, social media is not necessarily doing that with each tweet, Facebook Post, or Blog. It’s more like the walk in the park. Over time, as people follow you, they will become more comfortable and more open to listening to what you have to say.

By the same token, if every time I encounter a person on my walks, I try to convince them of something, or get them to buy a product from me, what would happen? They would go out of their way to avoid me, wouldn’t they? Whether they are listening to music or not, they would put ear buds in their ears, and smile blankly as they hurry by. Or they would pretend to be urgently discussing something with their walking partners. They would effectively shut me out. And that is what happens in social media as well.

for today, signing out..see you next time..

social cindy