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What Social Media Has In Common With A 5-Year-Old Kid

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Kid Goad

I was in a grocery store a few months back, standing in line in front of, respectively, a woman and her 5-ish-year-old kid, and a white-haired guy in his 60s/70s. Without prompting, the kid looked at the old man, and then at his mom, and said, “Mommy, that man’s really old.” The guy seemed to take it in stride and laughed a bit, and the mom, who was obviously embarrassed, said “you shouldn’t say things like that” and apologized. But then, the kid said something even worse: “Is he gonna die soon?”

Awkward. Bomb. Dropped.

The old man, again, tried to play it off. His mouth said, “Heh, I hope not,” but his eyes said, “probably.” I didn’t stick around long enough to hear how the mom reacted to that one.

If your brand is on social media, you are the mom, your audience is the little kid and your product is the (hopefully not 70)-year-old man.

People still don’t get this. Social media is not a space for everyone to like everything you do. It’s a space where brutal honesty, and often times downright snark, reigns over all else. If your product is good and of actual value, people will like it and engage with you. If it’s not—if it’s decrepit, decaying, or just plain sucks—social media won’t fix that.

In short, your social media is a reflection of your product, not the other way around. Make good stuff, and make yourself useful on social media, and support will follow.

Photo: Koen / Flickr

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