Our Social Experiment
Recently, our marketing team dared the entire company to a 10 day social media challenge to encourage the team to make social media a social habit. #10daysocialmediachallenge
For some of our younger team members, social media came naturally, almost effortlessly; posting everything from beautiful visuals of captivating sunsets to what they did on the weekend. But as a GenX woman, with two grown children and a busy household, Social Media was never in the forefront of my mind as part of my daily life.
However, as a real estate agent, we’re constantly encouraged to use social media to network with our circles as well as advertise ourselves. And seeing as we live in the digital age, social media is a necessary evil. So necessary that I recently (within the last few weeks) opened an Instagram account as I’m told “EVERYBODY uses Instagram now!”
Back to the Marketing team’s experiment: I thought, hmm! I do enjoy a good challenge. How hard could it be to post “content” on my social media accounts? I have this covered. I’ve been described as artistic and creative, so let’s use that! But I was in for a big surprise.
About a few days in, I underestimated how challenging this challenge would be. I soon discovered that the things that I like are not necessarily “what’s trending.” I was not getting all the likes that I expected and at times I felt like I was wasting my time with this challenge. However, so many people successfully engage and capture their audience’s attention. Surely these people are not all millennials. Where am I missing the mark?
So midway through, after looking for ideas and photos to post, I flipped the script and looked at the bigger picture. Social media is a form of communication, yes, but more importantly, it’s a channel for sharing ideas, information and is an extension of me and my artistic, creative self. It’s also a window (just a window) into my life as a real estate agent and a working mom and a way to connect with people who are like-minded. Basically, I was challenged to publicly just be myself. Who knew I would get so philosophical about social media!
That was not the only lesson I discovered out of this challenge. Along the way, as a newbie to social media and as a real estate agent, I learnt a few things:
- Be positive! – This challenge forced me to look at the lighter, brighter side of life. We all have bad days but I never wanted to spread my negativity on a social platform for the world to see. So at every point, I thought of one good thing that happened in my day, which now after 10 days in this challenge, I do every day now.
- Take a timeout – For me, I use my mobile to make and receive calls and for the usual messaging apps, but it forced me to slow down, scroll through, think and post. This little 5 to 10 minute break every day gave me a chance to stop and look at things from a different perspective.
- It’s ok to get personal! – I always shunned people who put the personal lives or opinions out there but then I realized, sharing your life and thoughts with people helps you connect and reminds us all that we are in fact human!
- Laughter is food for the soul – While I did not post any jokes, I laughed at some of my colleagues posts and thought “why do we take ourselves so seriously all the time?” I love laughter.
- I’m more connected – Being active on social media, I’m more in touch with what’s going on in my family’s lives, especially the ones abroad, as well as my children. A whole world has opened up to me as I’m more available and connected to the ones near and dear to me.
Most importantly, this challenge made me step out of my comfort zone but I realized that to grow, one must be uncomfortable first. I did not get any leads yet but, I’m no longer looking at social media as a selling tool but as a social habit. Mission accomplished!