In the post –What Michael Jackson can teach business about social media… I shared four valuable social media lessons business owners should learn from the life and death of the King of Pop.
The first lesson was that being first doesn’t mean as much as you probably think it does. I’ve worked with many clients who drastically over-estimated how long and hard the road is when you’re truly blazing a new trail through the wilderness. (They don’t call the LEADING edge the BLEEDING edge for no reason!)
The second lesson was the importance of reaching out – listening a learning.
In Creativity is Easier when you have a Partner – David Wright shares an AMAZING story of how reaching out -listening and learning helped him turn losing the only job he ever loved into not only a book but also a business (Collective Inkwell).
There’s a lot of value in the “community” aspect of social media. There are lessons to be learned via social media if you’re willing to reach out – listen and learn.
There are life lessons to be learned in social media – whether they be lessons from the road courtesy of Betsy Wuebker lessons in self defense from Lori Hoeck, lessons in the art of possibility from Davina or lessons in laughter from Lance. You could live five lifetimes and not accumulate half of the life lessons shared in those just four blogs.
There are POWERFUL business lessons to be learned as well. Liz Strauss writes intriguing, instructive posts teaching CEO’s how to correctly “view” social media. In Could You Be a Chief Executive Social Gardener? she models through words AND actions social media’s real value for brands.
Social Media can show BOTH sides of the story
New business owners can learn from experienced leaders in their field who freely share their expertise via social media. Tom Volkar shares freely his insights on starting a new business- the RIGHT business for you with posts like Why Rock The Boat?
However, once you’ve chosen your business – you need practical advice as well – from those who have “been there, done that and bought the T-shirt.” For exmaple, David Airey shares his words of wisdom about his own formula for design pricing. However, if you’re a designer there’s also a wealth of information from those who are struggling with the process of finding the “right” designer…as Sara Healy does in her post The Still Small Voice Was Right.
Social Media showcases both success and failure
We all love success stories – but sometimes those success stories don’t give us the full picture. Jason Cohen has written a WONDERFUL article on how most business “advice” is flawed because it generally focuses exclusively on the “success” side of the coin. In Business Advice Plagued by Survivor Bias he shares what is possibly the most illustrative word picture of how focusing on the success may actually cause you to miss the most valuable business lessons of all.
The “traditional” media is obsessed with success… to the point where they’ll gloss over the time, energy and failures that go into building a successful business. However, in the social media arena – most bloggers are more than willing to share their failures as well as their successsed as Barbara Swafford has done in Bloopers, BooBoos and Ideas That Went Bust.
Social Media may have more in store for us than just valuable lessons
Social media has the potential to become the greatest early detection system that the world has ever seen. It is faster, nimbler and has more access to user data than any traditional search engine.
Social media is powered by all of us individually. Because of this, you have the ability to make a positive difference.
When Michael Jackson died, I read somewhere that the server hosting one of the breaking news web sites had at one point 42 hits PER SECOND. That’s a lot of people seeking information from a single source. Fortunately, that information “disseminated” quickly – much to the relief of a server admin I’m sure – but it shows how BIG this world is and how connected we are thanks to social media.
This is why I “cringe” when someone wants to reduce blogging to the mere act of “lead generation” and “lead conversion”.
It’s not that I’m against making money – or even evaluating what marketing tools are “working” and which ones aren’t. It’s just that trying to put an ROI value on social media is not only premature- but possibly pointless.
As you can see here – there are a lot of GREAT lessons – both life lessons – and business lessons – being shared via social media if you’re willing to reach out – listen and learn.