Did you have a sandbox as a kid? I did and it was place where I could play and be as creative and constructive as my heart desired.
It was GREAT fun to play in my sandbox until the fateful day when I realized that my play area had become a port-a-pot for the neighborhood cats.
I remember trying to clean up my sandbox so I could enjoy it again, but once the neighborhood cats found my little patch of sand in the backyard
-there was no going back.
Years later, when I had children of my own, imagine my delight to discover that some other entrepreneurial soul had come up with a solution – a sandbox WITH A COVER! I bought the first one I saw for my kids.
Once the kids were done playing, they had to put the cover back on the sandbox before they came inside. Being kids – my kids specifically – the practice of placing the cover over the top of the sandbox stopped after – oh, say the third day. It wasn’t long before I heard the wails as my children discovered – the hard way – the consequences of not covering their beloved sandbox.
The Social Media Sandbox
A blog is a tool in the social media sandbox… just like the pink pail in the image above. Fill the pail with dry sand and when you turn the bucket over – the sand will pour out into a shapeless pile.
There’s not much fun in that.
However, when you add a little H2O to the sand- suddenly the sand retains it shape! The addition of a little water creates a literally endless array of possibilities for creativity and construction!
When we first moved to Florida, I purchased an book on building sand sculptures. It was fascinating, but I realized that I really didn’t want to work that hard when I went to the beach. However, I learned that scooping wet sand into a bucket and overturning it isn’t the ONLY way to build a sand castle.
If you’ve wondered why your blog hasn’t been delivering the results you wanted to see from it – it’s because:
- You haven’t been adding water to the sand.
- You haven’t been adding the right amount of water to the sand.
- You not using your bucket correctly.
If you’ve ever gone to the beach and begun an ambitious sand castle project, you’ll notice that the further along you get in the construction of your sand castle – the more “interest” you’ll get from passers by.
Sit on the beach and dump dry sand out of your bucket for hours on end, and all you’ll get is a few pitying glances.
On the other hand, when you begin an ambitious sand castle building project – well, at first you won’t get much attention either.
However, as you build it and it become apparent that you’re building something big – people will start to notice. People will start to gather – curious to watch the process. You may find you actually get volunteers who want to help become a part of what you’re building.
Social Media Marketing is just like Building Sandcastles
- You have to start with the end in mind. If you don’t have a strategy in place when you begin using social media, you can’t expect social media to yield results.
- At first, no one will notice – or care what you’re doing. Most people can’t “see” it with their mind before they see it with their eyes. It’s not until your sand castle starts to take shape that people begin to notice.
- Even when there are lots of people on the beach – very few of them are building sand castles. Most people at the beach are lying in the sun. More people are reading books than building sand castles.
Sandcastles and sandboxes are a great analogy for social media.
If you don’t have the right “strategy” (knowing what to do – a.k.a. adding water and knowing the end result – a.k.a. “a plan”) you’ll just find yourself scooping sand and pouring dry sand. Playing like that in the sandbox loses its appeal quickly and when the cats arrive, well – it makes it easy to abandon the sandbox for good.
The key to creating a work of art sandcastle includes knowing WHAT you want to build. Once you know what you want to build, then the techniques for achieving the desired results are actually quite simple. The same it true for blogging – and every other tool in the social media marketing toolbox.
Social media can be a GREAT sandbox – one with unlimited opportunities for creativity and construction – the rub is you need to make certain you have a social media strategy in place so you can create beautiful sandcastles. Even if you’re miles away from the closest beach – you can still add water and have fun creating your own sandcastles in your backyard – even if you’re miles from the closest beach.