A great post by Julia Campbell, Principal and Founder of J Campbell Social Marketing. If you know me on a personal level, you know that I love doing hot power yoga. Hot power yoga, the way I prefer it, is in a large studio heated to at least 95 degrees. Bliss = an hour and a half and my yoga mat.
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I also love the power and potential of social media marketing – I have a passion for it that is rivaled only by my family, friends and my yoga.
While I was practicing the other day (even though we are supposed to clear our minds), I was thinking about some of the similarities between yoga and social media marketing.
Yes, on the surface they seem to be diametrically opposed. The frantic, frenzied nature of social media and the calming 5,000 year-old practice of yoga?
But, like the great yogi Baron Baptiste said, everything is not always what is seems on the surface…
How social media marketing is like yoga
1. Both mediums are focused on unity and harmony. Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit. Social media, according to Wikipedia, “includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities, and individuals.” Yoga is creating a union between you and your spirit, and social media is creating a union between you and your constituents.
2. You must do both correctly, and often, to get results. Much has been written lately about the supposed “dangers” of yoga. Yoga is dangerous when people overextend themselves or do not do the poses correctly. Just like in yoga, social media “hurts” people when they have not bothered to do any research or get any training into using the tools properly. When yoga is practiced correctly and social media is used effectively, they can both produce amazing, life-changing results. Take the time to get the proper training and consult with experts before giving up.
3. You must be aware of your capacity and your limitations. I am not an athletic person. I am not flexible; I am not a ballet dancer or fitness instructor. I also don’t have the time to practice yoga every day. I simply show up and practice as hard as I can, when I can. The same goes for social media. Give it your all when you can and in the ways that you can. You will not able to master every single tool if you are a small business owner with a lot on her plate. You will not be able to master every single yoga pose. Know your limitations, understand your capacity and work within those boundaries. (And then exceed them whenever and wherever possible.)
4. Neither social media nor yoga are “silver bullets” for your problems. They both require practice, practice, and more practice to get them right. They require investments of time and money (you get what you pay for, both in yoga and in social media!) However, the results are very fulfilling – when you nail that first head stand or that first blog post goes viral – this creates a serious sense of accomplishment. Keep trying – you’ll get there.
5. Neither discriminates. Even if you are not a spiritual or athletic person by nature, you can still practice yoga. Even if you are not a techie or a computer geek, you can still master social media. They keys are passion, perseverance and dedication.
In yoga and in social media marketing, you get out what you put in.
Yoga helps us get in touch with our true selves and discover what we are capable of when we push beyond what we think is possible.
The same can be said for social media – when the channels of interaction are opened up, it gives businesses and nonprofits a never-before seen view of their constituencies and of the world.