Cowboys were the First Social Media Thinkers

Cow I home-school my oldest son, who is in 5th grade. Right now, he is reading Louis L’Amour’s Sackett series for his reading section. This series is based on true facts of how the west was won. They were strong men that knew to survive out west they needed to approach their way of life a bit different.What they’ve known to always work was no longer the case. They needed to step outside the comfortable ‘known’ and relearn a new approach.

1. The traditional way of handling their cattle wasn’t going to work…the terrain was very different. Social Media marketing is nothing like traditional marketing. The traditional approach almost always has the formula of A+B=C. With new media, you have to feel out the terrain at that moment. Your mental finger has to be on the pulse all the time in case the winds change.

2. Cattle farmers had to be ready to withstand a long haul over time. The trends in SM are changing constantly and fast. Just about the time you think you’ve figured it all out, you’re wrong. Your customers might think Twitter is a waste of time one month and the next, they’re all over it.

3. Cowboys who owned a ranch were usually ethical and hard working. They gave kudos when appropriate and used teachable moments when needed. In SM, everything is out in the open. You can’t sneeze sideways without everyone knowing about it. When you’re ethical and giving, you’re known for it. When you’re not…you’re also known for it. I love the 30/60/30 formula – 30% for listening, 60% for engaging and 30% for writing about your self/company. This formula tends to keep you honest and giving.

History repeats itself. Usually it’s the mental or emotional approach that causes this, so why not repeat this in social media. Learning a new tactic can always be useful. I’m sure you could think of other people/leaders in history that would fit this.

Photo credit