I keep telling people, “I’m not a social media expert!” Don’t get me wrong; I speak about social media–a lot. It’s one of the most common topics I’m asked to address and lots of people say my approach to social media has worked wonders for them. Confused?
I have never considered myself a technology wizard, nor an Internet guru and definitely not a social media master. That doesn’t mean I can’t tell you how to get better results from all of them!
You see, I believe the secrets to succeeding with all this stuff, and whatever stuff may come along after it, are not hidden in bits, bytes or HTML gibberish. You already know the secrets and you learned them in Kindergarten: have fun and be creative, be nice, and share.
My real passion and my purpose are described in entertaining detail in my book “Visionistics – The Process of Success.” This is not (just) a shameless self-promotional plug. My book is about the importance and power of vision, ethics and integrity. Vision is being creative and looking forward. Ethics is being nice and doing the right thing. Integrity is sharing and being genuine.
Facebook and all social media is just a bunch of real people like you and me hoping to connect with other real people. Like other real people, we are attracted to creativity and vision. We are drawn to nice people, and we develop loyalty to genuine people who also care for us.
Companies fail at Facebook when they forget this important reality. They fail when they forget kindergarten! They fail when they blast the same impersonal promotional messages “at” everyone. They rely on boring advertising completely void of passion or creative fun.
They fail when they forget to be nice and do the right thing. For example, wildly switching suppliers to promote based on which one temporarily pays the highest commission, clearly communicates your priorities to your customers.
Most importantly, they fail when they forget to share. Social media in all its forms is not intended to be a one-way experience. Loads of agencies bombard their Linked-In networks with solicitations for business. But, how many of them have bought insurance, or copy paper, or desk chairs from someone else in their network? THAT is sharing.
Twitter is littered with ads screaming “buy my cruise” or “buy my tour package” and “book with me.” Sharing means taking the time to also tweet things like “Check out Joe’s Dry Cleaners, they’re the best in town,” or “ABC Travel loves the sandwiches at Rosie’s deli!” THAT is sharing.
I wrote “Visionistics” because I truly believe that if we can change the way business works, we’ll change the world. I wrote it because my kindergarten teacher was right. When we have fun and do creative things, the world gets better. When we are nice and do the right thing, the world gets better. When we share and help others, the world completely transforms.
Today, we talk about Facebook and Twitter. Tomorrow we’ll find something else has snagged our attention. It really doesn’t matter. The secrets to success will always be found in those memories of finger-painting, stacking blocks with our friends, and of course naps!
Nolan Burris is an author, former travel agent, failed musician and self-professed techno-geek. He’s also a popular international speaker both inside and outside of the travel industry. He is the founder and chief Visioneer of Future Proof Travel Solutions (futureprooftravel.com) based in Vancouver, Canada. Nolan’s believes that if can change the way business works, you’ll change the world. His goal is to spread the message of integrity and ethics in a techno-driven world.