by Paula on February 13, 2011

It always amazes me in life how there are so many parallels in things we go through. I tweeted the other day about Social Media and how close it is to parenting with it’s constant changes. As soon as you are on top of things and know what you’re doing, things change and you are learning and adapting all over again! Would be very boring if things stood still though, so I’m not complaining.

Another similarity was visible this week between parenting and Social Media and it concerns how you treat those who are achieving.

At school it is the driver of the teachers and the council to get pupils to achieve. They want them to reach at least a certain standard and encourage and challenge them to meet and beat this. Great! However my son is well above the standard for his age and class and rather than being able to accommodate and celebrate this and help him achieve things that are challenging for him, we often find he is a little bit left to one side. If there is spare teaching time it will always be on those who need extra help. If there is support and encouragement going it will always be for those who don’t get it elsewhere. While I totally understand how and why this happens, it is somewhat ironic that those who have achieved what you desire are less important than those who haven’t or can’t. This will potentially leave you with a situation at the end of the school year where those who couldn’t achieve, haven’t, and those who had achieved have given up and lost interest and no-one is at the desired level.

And so to the match with Social Media. There are a number of Social Media monitoring tools available and companies use these to gain awareness of what is being said about them online. Any company’s goal would surely be to have every mention of them online being a positive one and so the work starts to try and address some of the negativity and complaints and work towards getting these people onside. But what about those who are already onside? Those who are speaking highly of your product or service already? Well they don’t need any work do they? They can be ignored, right? Wrong. If your aim is to have people supporting and promoting your business then there is so much less effort and work to do to get this from someone who is already a fan! Commenting back, making them feel special, even allowing them access to privileges, freebies or discounts will make these people who love you, love you even more! Far easier to charm a fan than to win over a critic. So these people should not be ignored, and are a highly valuable asset to your business.

So in the same way that an achieving child needs nurturing and support to help them grow and shine, an advocate of your business needs care and attention and just watch as their support for your business and willingness to spread the word about what you do, really does it’s magic.

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