In 2012 there were 4,925 DIFFERENT KINDS of Cereal.
Now. Imagine the Cereal Aisle.
This is Today’s Social Media.
Imagine your customers thought process. Do you think it’s a deep dive into what is amazing about cereal and what they love the best and maybe they should eat even MORE cereal this week? Or are they in a hurry with a toddler screaming down the aisle BEGGING for the MOST jam packed Sugar Cereal in existence that they saw in an ad. On their Ipad. Or smartphone. Or computer. And they are loud. And persistent. And absolutely WON’T take no as a possible answer.
Now. Where is Cereal You? Piled at the end of the aisle — the FAR end. Waiting for ANYONE to notice you and put you in the cart. It’s random of course because you look just like all the other bags and the Customer who chooses you JUST WANTS THE SUGAR CEREAL TO GET THEIR KID TO STOP ASKING. That’s if they don’t succumb FIRST to the fancier, shiney, boxed, top shelf cereal that their kid can sing every jingle of.
When they choose YOUR cereal, they want the cheapest, quickest, easiest solution to their problem.
They don’t care how you line up with the shinier brand, how you look, how long you’ve been sitting there waiting. They. Just. Want. Their. Kid. To. Stop. Crying.
Other cereal customers are looking at them and judging them. They need an immediate solution. It’s YOU Fruit Circle Girl.
That may feel good for a hot minute, am I right? You’ve been WAITING for someone to NOTICE YOU. And now they HAVE. It’s a THRILLING feeling — a client chose YOU.
What you quickly realize is that when you become the choice in that situation — you cease being an individual. You’re just an easy generic solution. Because you are generic the ONLY thing making you different is what you cost.
Welcome to the Death of Your Business.
That’s what copying what others are doing in Social Media will do.
So what the hell do you do? You KNOW how to do what others are doing. You’ve studied them, their followers, their hashtags. You take photos like they use (and in some cases you just USE the photos). You mimic their captions, their posting time, their stories.
And yet, there you are, the plastic bag on the cereal shelf.
Social Media is changing. And so so many people haven’t noticed.
People Don’t Want What You Do. They Don’t. Care.
So what, then just throw up your hands in frustration and give up? That’s an option. One that A LOT of people choose. Oh I TRIED that. Totally worked my ASS off doing it. Didn’t work. Oh well.
That’s the easiest option.
Here’s a different way to think about Social Media: Don’t be Cereal. Don’t even be Breakfast. Or Food.
Be Human. Be Real.
Help People Grow into Who THEY want to BE.
Tell Your Story.
Start by being YOU. Show us the real stuff. Stop arranging things just so to make yourself feel like you have your shit together. We all know the real truth! (here’s a real life photo of my desk right at this moment. The dog kept trying to knock over the garbage can to get at candy wrappers so the can joined the party on my desk. Also a Double shot Dirty Chai and all the magazines I’ve been published in or have published myself because I’m trying to get my shit together on my website.)
The ONE thing I’ve always tried to do is not be distracted or depressed by watching what others do in their social media lives. I DO try to embrace best practices and I DO all the research and reading and know a LOT about how to up mine and others games — but I am also really dedicated to being only who I am. No one has my view point, my experience, my creative eye. Everyone has their own! And am I a rock star social maven? Nope. But I DO have ideas that inspire people and skills that make people hire me. ::laughing::
So the next time you see someone on social media doing something you feel jealous over? Put it away. Sit down and think about what you’ve done that you can talk about. Or what you WANT to do and take some steps to make that happen. It’s hard to rise to the top of the cereal aisle — and you’re not going to get there AT ALL by being Fruit Circles and hoping someone will buy you instead of the one and ONLY Froot Loops.
Oh man. I have a lot of thoughts about this. But for now this is good. Just be. And show everyone that being YOU is INCREDIBLE and MESSY and INSPIRING. And send me a link so I can see too!!