I was talking to a client today about how social media starts out slow, but over time you spin a web of contacts, and my mind jumped immediately to one of my 2 year old daughter’s favorites books – The Very Busy Spider.
In the book, a spider is blown across the farmyard leaving a strand of silk behind her. She lands on a fence post and proceeds to build a web. All manner of barnyard animals come to visit and try to distract her, but she keeps going until finally the web is done and in lands a fly – dinner time.
I think this is a great analogy on how social media builds your base and your network over time. You come into the tools with a strand of contacts – friends, former colleagues, clients and prospects.
As you spin your web –joining more networks; creating content that contacts pass on to contacts; getting more followers, friends, connections, readers – your network grows and your web gets larger.
But like the spider, it takes hard work and it takes focus. If Miss Spider stopped halfway to play with the barnyard animals a rain may have come and washed her out – and she’d have to start over again. Like your social media efforts - once you start, you need to keep going because almost nothing looks worse than an abandoned blog or a twitter page that hasn’t seen a tweet for 2 months.
If you stay focused however, and keep on building the web till its done (actually, its never done) you’ll start to see that web catch prey – the kind who want what you have to sell or share. The kind that will be glad that they joined you for dinner.