Judging solely on size and abundance, you might look at my garden and say, “She sure knows what she’s doing.”
The truth is this is my my third attempt at gardening. While fruitful, it isn’t exactly an organized ordeal, and I don’t consider a bucket full of tomatoes and zucchinis a complete success. Partial success – yes. After all, it’s edible and organic, but most of the time I don’t know what I’m getting because more than half of the garden is made up of volunteers.
The left, more robust side of the vegetable garden was a complete surprise. The right side I actually planted on my own, separating seeds and building troughs. I clearly have a lot to learn.
The other night as I heaved buckets of water to my garden because the hose doesn’t reach, I got to thinking – this is a lot like social media. A bit ridiculous, but I’m so consumed by social media that this actually crossed my mind.
So, I give you the similarities between gardening and social media.
- Deep rooted relationships. A garden or social media community doesn’t spring up overnight. It takes a lot of work and time. Sure the seeds I planted produced small, somewhat fruitful plants, but the left side of the garden flourished because the seeds were a result of composting; vegetables and foods that broke down over time, became a part of the dirt and had time to grow. If your business or brand has an existing, strong relationship with its customers prior to implementing a social media strategy, they will be your strongest and loudest ambassadors when you do launch because of that deep-rooted bond you’ve already created.
- You must iterate. Apparently for me, the third time isn’t the charm. My gardens have become better organized, but they’re not quite perfect. Your social media strategy will never be perfect. It is an ongoing, organic process that requires revisions along the way. Be willing to adapt and weed out what isn’t working for you.
- Celebrate! Celebrate milestones and fans, no matter how small or large they may be! Social media (and gardening) should be fun. You may never hit a million fans, and I may never successfully grow cucumbers, but I’m going to celebrate the 20 tomato plants that came up on their own, just as you should celebrate the five new fans you earned last week.
- It takes a community. I can’t claim a solo victory in my gardening skills. It was a collective effort between Manfriend and the compost pile. While social media is technically free, it takes time, money and resources. Be prepared to crowdsource for advice (and be willing to take it) and staff appropriately.