Social Media Is a Never-Ending Carnival Ride

I recently read a Tweet implying, “Social media has the word social in it for a reason.” This is true. Social Media is all about socializing or engaging with your audience. Whether you are on Facebook to stay updated with friends and family for personal reasons, or if you are a business reaching out to virtual customers – Both ways you have a captive audience and they are following you for a reason. They want to “speak” with you and you need to speak back.

Let’s put this lesson into a real world scenario. For the purpose of this post, I am looking at this carnival analogy from a business perspective.

Low angle view of a ferris wheel

Businesses sometimes have a hard time understanding the “value” of the social media “ride”. It takes time and it is an investment. Sometimes that ride isn’t fun, or it makes you sick, or is unappealing – but you need to be on it. So choose the ride or attraction you are most comfortable with, that makes sense for you, where all your friends (target audience) are and doesn’t make you want to throw up at the thought of it.

However there is more to the analogy than you think.

Real World: You show up at the Carnival and are immediately overwhelmed with the vendors and attractions clustered into a small space.

Del Mar Fair

Social Media World: You go online and are immediately overwhelmed at all the social media platforms out there.

Real World: Then there is the herd of carnival goers flitting from one ride to the next.

Carnival in Cyprus

Social Media World: Your target audience is in that crowd somewhere. Sometimes it is hard to find out where they are, or where they are going.

Real World: You have bought your tickets and walk around the venue, find a ride and then you have to wait in line. Often the waiting period to get on the ride is longer than the ride itself.

Party people

Social Media World: Every platform is an investment. Like the ride, you are investing your time and energy to see the payoff of whether it was worth the resources invested.

Real World: Once the ride ends, is that it? No, you didn’t pay to park, navigate the crowds and spend an obscene amount of money on ride tickets and cotton candy for one ride. You are going to go on another ride, or repeat the last one until you have a fun experience. Once you have mastered the first one, you move on to the next.

Colorful carousel

Social Media World: You don’t just show up, do your thing and leave. You want to make the most of your resources and create a fun experience for everyone.

The only spot this analogy fails is that with social media you never really leave that carnival. You either endlessly stay on one ride, maybe shifting your seats (perspective) so you can meet new friends or test out another attraction and meet other friends.

This is how you should manage your social media by slowly evolving. Get on one social media platform (ride), and figure it out, have some fun, talk to others, share the experience, then try out another and repeat the process.

Friends pointing at the sky

Point of this analogy.
Don’t expect to create an account and immediately have business. You need to invest time, energy and resources to build content, attract the audience and develop relationships with them. How do you do this? Socialize with them! Let them know who you are, what you like, and get them to tell you things about themselves as well. It is all about experience of the ride.

Photo Credit: iClipArt