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Try Something New With Social Media

by | Nov 5, 2009 | Industry News & Trends


Do Things Differently

I am not addicted to coffee and I’m not writing that because I’m in denial. But every day, on my commute to work, coffee rides co-pilot. Today it stayed home. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I simply forgot my usual routine. I didn’t miss the coffee (remember I’m not addicted), I missed the action of tipping my travel mug at every light. I felt like I was supposed to be doing something. My hand felt antsy.

What do you do every day (from an organizational standpoint); something you do without thinking that when it can’t be done or when it has to be done a different way, you are at a loss? It just doesn’t feel right.

There’s an old phrase, “habits are something we do without thinking. That’s why some of us have so many of them.” Habits are our way of going on mental autopilot. We don’t need to give our processes any thought because we’re continuing to do them the same way we always have. But doing things the way they have always been done makes us lazy. It removes creativity and turns our decision-making process into rote procedure. It takes away evolution, which is necessary when dealing with today’s challenges. 

Here are 5 ways to step outside of doing things the way you’ve always done them with social media.

1. Shake up your member base — once a day, at least 3 times a week, contact a random member of your organization or contact list. Send an email, text, personal note, write on their wall, whatever — just reach out to them in some way. Ask how you can be of service, what their latest interest is, what suggestions they have for you. Get in touch with your online community.

2. Learn something new — enter keywords on a blog site, Twitter, Wikipedia, you get the idea. Then read and read.

3. Make contact — you’ve just learned something. How did it make you feel? Agree or disagree? Let the author know your feelings by reaching out (in a professional way).

4. Share — how does your newly acquired knowledge fit into your life or that of your members? Pass it along. Write a blog about it. Email a few of your contacts. Share its meaning with those who cross your path that day. Whether it’s your barista at Starbucks or your child’s kindergarten teacher, if you found the information helpful chances are someone else will as well. Maybe they’ll even have additional information or insight to add to the conversation.

5. Make introductions — Twitter has Follow Friday. Member sites have featured members. But why not take this to another level? You’ve made contact with someone from your community. You’ve gained insight/knowledge. You’ve shared this knowledge. Now help others meet (or become reintroduced to) people who will have a beneficial effect on their hobby, career or life. Whether you do it on email, through personal introduction or linking to their blogs; facilitating introductions builds an infrastructure of engaged individuals.

It’s easy to continue to run your organization the way it’s always been done. It’s safe. It requires little thought. The paths are already hewn. But if you’re willing, you can challenge yourself to make small changes that yield a big difference. Try what I suggest and let me know how it goes. Maybe I’ll even follow my own advice and leave my coffee co-pilot at home and use those momentary traffic stops to think about interesting ideas. This blog was born because I “forgot” my coffee. What amazing thing are you achieving today because you “forgot” to do things as usual?


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