Quenching Social Media Thirst


Creating a breathable space for customers through online social media is not much different from running a restaurant. The success of a restaurant doesn’t have too many key ingredients: good food, pleasant ambiance, engaging and attentive service. The distinctive way that you combine and serve those ingredients determines how often patrons return and how far and wide word-of-mouth spreads. Above all: keeping customers’ glasses full, steadfastly quenching their thirst, is what wins the day in the life of a restaurant.

However you use online social media, whether to make money or friends or to enhance knowledge or awareness or to just have fun, you have customers: your blog subscribers, your Twitter followers, your email contacts, your bookmark sharing partners, your forum participants.

In particular, if you’re using social media with a business purpose, then you not only need to provide bread and butter, and good food with good service, you also need to quench your customers’ thirst.

What does that mean, customer thirst? It’s your flow of content. It’s your responsiveness to fill unmet needs before your customers realize that they have one. It’s your presence. It’s the little things you do that make the online experience, the social medium, worthy of return customers and infectious word-of-mouth.


I don’t always practice what I preach but here are some little thirst-quenchers, or ways to quench your customers’ thirst, that I’d make a priority:

  1. In blogging: knowing when to refill your subscribers’ reader (post frequency)
  2. Monitoring what’s being said about you (Google Alerts, TweetBeeps, professional reputation services)
  3. Putting your interactors front-and-center when solving their problems
  4. Asking “what can I do for you?” No need to be that annoying and obtrusive waiter or waitress. (Subtlety works.)
  5. Offering usable tools that allow instant connection (Twitter, text-messaging, your cell (old school still works!))

The list is off-the-cuff. Make your own: identify the part of your service that involves water or wine or beer. What drinks do you serve and what can you do to keep filling them?

It’s often said that people are hungry for information. You might have a blog that serves remarkable food that more than feeds your readers’ hunger. But if they’re thirsty, it doesn’t matter how bitchin’ the food tastes. Thirst is a primal urge. If you don’t fill those glasses, people will find other places to quench their thirst. And fast.

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Work-Life Balance Is a Hoax

Photo taken in 2004 at the famous Image via Wikipedia

You are probably one of millions of Americans in search of balance between work and life. I too have searched for that elusive condition in the past. But it’s a hoax my friends. It’s a trick the mind plays when we’re trying to escape from the inevitable stresses of life. Trying to find balance in your life is like trying to balance a bag of water on your head while hopping on one leg. It’s theoretically possible but you’ll look like a damn fool.

Sometimes when the stresses of life wear on us we seek an escape. Doing work that you don’t have any passion for is one definition of hell. Here’s my theory about getting out of hell: the way out of hell is through. That’s not the path that most of us take. Why not? My answer: because that way is laden with fear and danger. We avert both because we attach to familiarity and comfort.

A mind that neither averts nor attaches is the only one beyond the surface-tension we call suffering. That kind of mind doesn’t look for balance because it knows there’s nothing but imbalance. That kind of mind delights in the chaos embedded into every facet of our world. Look into the night-sky. Do you see balance? Or do you see a beauty in the imperfect swirling of it all? Could you look upon your life that same way? If you could, what would you see?

If you continue to go to a cog job because you have to pay your bills, then do what you have to do. But before you beat yourself up with constant ruminations of how you need to find balance between work and home-life, why not try to do some soul-digging first? Why not find out what’s really bugging you? These are important actions to take, because if you leave one way of life for another, you still have the same brain to suffer from the stresses of life. There is no way out your mind. If you find a way out, email me: info /*at*/ philbaumann.com. Better yet: twitter me.

I’m telling you this because I encounter so many people who are fed up with their jobs and stressed between their paycheck-generators and their family life. I see a lot of depression, anxiety, mania and all sorts of painful conditions in the eyes of friends, relatives, and strangers. It’s a stressful world we’re creating, no doubt about that. I wish I could change things, but I can’t. Our world has always been stressful. It always will be.

So what’s the answer to the problem of being overly stressed between work and life? I could give you a list written for Digg. Instead I’ll just say that the answer is already within you. You know what it is. It’s your secret. You hid it away a long time ago. Our culture aided and abetted that little deception. You were told to be successful and you followed the advice. The lie was planted right from the start. You were already successful. You were already happy. You were OK.

The ancients called the balance you now seek The Pearl. That’s what they meant when they talked about the world as your oyster. What starts as a gritty irritation grows into a fascination. Throw away the grit and you’ll never find the pearl.

If you want me to help you out with a hint, all I can tell you is to follow your bliss. It’s a hard path to follow. It is a path of sacrifice, risk, danger. I ask you to consider: would life be worth anything without these three keys to truth?

We have within in us dark sparks burning to get out. Why put out the fire within you when you can set the word ablaze with your light? Bend into the work you do. The oyster does. Why can’t you?

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