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Social Media Lessons…From A Robin?

April 18, 2011 / in Social Media / by

Sometimes it’s good to slow down and look around at things we take for granted every day or that we didn’t even see until someone else pointed them out to us. Over the years, I’ve learned taking that time always yields valuable lessons that I can then apply to my personal and professional lives.

With that in mind, I want to share a little story with you. The other day my wife Missy asked if I had seen the robin that built a nest on some floodlights that are attached to the sun room at our house. I’ve gone outside numerous times over the last week or two, either to let our dog Hinrich out, to do yard work, or to just sit on the deck and soak up a little sun. But I hadn’t seen the robin or her nest.

As I type this, I’m in the sun room and can see the robin, my muse for this blog post if you will, sitting on top of her eggs, ever alert, occasionally grabbing some food from our bird feeder, her head sometimes not moving for several minutes, and other times perking up when she sees a possible threat to her soon-to-hatch nestlings (aka baby robins). She is never far away from the nest and her unwavering commitment to nurturing and protecting her eggs is both delightfully natural and admirable.

So what lessons about social media can your business learn from this story?

1. Slow Down.

2. Be Alert To Threats (i.e. your competition).

3. Listen (remember my wife “referred” me to the robin).

4. Know where your eggs are (i.e. your customers and prospects).


Whether your business is just getting started in social media or has been using it for awhile now, these lessons are critical to your social media success.

If your business utilizes LinkedIn, how often do you log in? How often do you “listen” to the activity going on within your network? How often do you update your LinkedIn status? How often do you provide recommendations for people you’ve worked with that are awesome? How often do you add new connections? How often do you take the time to help when someone in your network asks a question? How often do you participate in groups you are a member of? LinkedIn doesn’t work if you just create a profile and sit back: YOU HAVE TO BE THERE.

If your business has a Facebook page, are you posting updates at least once a week? Are you engaging fans of your page when they post comments or ask questions? Are you “LIKE’ing” the Facebook pages of your customers and vendors? Are you asking your customers what they want from you? Are you providing solutions for them that will make their lives easier? Facebook doesn’t work if you just create a page and sit back: YOU HAVE TO BE THERE.

If your business has a Twitter account, are you engaging other people in your industry? Are you seeking out people that might be interested in your products and services? Are you providing valuable information for your followers? Are you listening to what people in your industry are saying? Are you listening to what your customers are saying? Are you helping people? Twitter doesn’t work if you just create an account and sit back: YOU HAVE TO BE THERE.

Businesses all across the world are looking at social media and trying to decide how to do it, who will do it, how often to do it, etc. This is all a part of the process. Whether your business is just getting started, needs a little push, or has been active in social media for awhile now, always keep the lessons of the robin in mind.

What do you think? Have you asked your customers what social media sites they use? Have you asked them what you could provide that would add value to them on those social media sites?

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