Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by beautiful yarn, gorgeous buttons and the sense that you will never have enough time to finish anything – that includes all of the unfinished projects you have stuffed in your closet?
No? OK. What about twitter glitter and every bright and shiny social media toy? And let’s not forget about the overwhelmingness of it all.
Tomorrow evening I am going to be part of a panel for Women in Development. What I am speaking about is figuring out how to make sense of the above.
It takes thoughtful planning to finish a hand knit sweater to a baby boy born in November to wear in the spring. This is a time sensitive project. Once the baby was born, I had to move fast. Hmmm, a pale green cardigan made of a soft organic cotton that can be handwashed easily. To build in as much portable knitting time as possible, I would have to knit on circular bamboo needles to pass through metal detectors at the airport, the Senate and the House buildings when I travel to Washington, DC. Sized for a 6 -9 month old would make this a perfect fit from early spring into summer. Light colored wooden buttons shaped like puppies drop kick this sweater through the goalposts of Wow! Baby gets a sweater, parents go photo crazy, I get to create a new design, blog about it, share it, build up my nonprofit knitwear portfolio and plan a knitting circle for new friends. Success as I defined it, was clearly met.
Before I picked out my yarn and needles I envisioned the end moment as the parents lift the baby sweater out of the gift box and gasp with sheer delight. Then I asked myself questions that quickly formed my strategy for getting there. This same process can be used to envision a successful social media strategy. Here are some examples of questions to start with:
The web is moving the online experience from send – to share – to socialize. What is the best experience you can provide and how do you know this?
Are you listening?
What kinds of conversations do you want to have and among who?
What effort are you willing to commit to keep this going?
How are you telling your story?
How are you being helpful?
There are many more points to consider and many great thinkers out there who can guide your thinking. I think Beth Kanter has done a tremendous job in talking about how to listen and how to approach social media tactically.
To make what I present as on-spot helpful as possible, I looked at how some of the registered attendees – Ms. Foundation for Women, CAMBA, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Lark Theatre, to see how they use social networks to move the needle. I think there will be some interesting discussion based on where they are in real time and where they think they can be.