why social media? and allow yourself some white space

Confirming it was indeed a busy and excellent week – teaching engagements, clients and the unconference yesterday.

These things have in common the fact that MANY people want to know more about social media, how to use twitter, what to say on Facebook. I mentioned the other day I spend a great deal of time talking about the why of using these things. Sometimes I think the why can be more important than the how.

Excellent article sent to me yesterday by a friend and colleague Avery Swartz.

“But I fear that the power of social media is being touted by many who are not aware that there are other forms of marketing that are just as essential. In fact social networking activities are not a panacea. They are tools for reaching large numbers of people, inexpensively, but they are not yet the tools that bind people to us enough to make them major donors, board members or volunteers. But we need other, more personal and engaging activities as well.” read more

It reinforces something I also tend to remind people  – there is no magic bullet. Social media is one more tool in your marketing kit – just because you make a Facebook event does not guarantee you anything, let alone a sold out house. Think about it.

“Well, we printed 5000 flyers!”

“Well, there are 1000s of posters all over town!”

“well we have a Facebook page!”

So? What are you doing with all these things? What is the why for you and your audience?

In other words it’s been a busy week and my brain is full. I need some white space. From webdesignledger.com

“Even though its name seems to suggest otherwise, whitespace doesn’t actually have to be white. It gets its name from the early days of graphic design where most printing was done on white paper. Whitespace is simply the empty space between and around the elements of a design or page layout. This can include: space around graphics and images, margins and gutters, space between columns, and even the space between lines of type. Whitespace is also referred to as “negative space”.”

What does white space do? Allows space, allows your eyes and brain to rest. Space to process and think.  Allow yourself some whitespace to absorb just everything you’ve dealt with that hour, day, week. If your brain is too full, you can’t do that. It’s why we get those best ideas in the shower, or after sleeping on it. Your brain is still hard at work, but you’re not force-feeding it. I’ll say again – read this book. It’s brilliant.

To use a final metaphor  – if you’ve ever done all the prep to cook a dish and them dropped all the ingredients in a too small pan, what do you do?
You put it in a bigger pan.
Ingredients need room to cook properly. So does information. So do ideas. Have a good weekend. Get yourself some whitespace.

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