This week, I’ve been traveling around Scotland and England, traversing the craggy cliffs of Edinburgh and the rainy bustling streets of London. The trip is primarily for fun and to visit my sister and a close friend, but it’s also a chance to step back, take a breather from everyday life, explore new cities; and (hopefully) return home reinvigorated, excited to learn and grow, and take the experiences I had abroad and bring them back to use in my everyday life.
Travel is always a slightly uncomfortable experience. You tend to miss your home, your bed, and having cell phone service. It’s not bad, just uncomfortable– it puts you out of your comfort zone. However, I think that it is really, really important for anyone who works on social media to travel.
First of all, travel, and not necessarily abroad travel, wakes up your mind and reminds you how to see the world with a fresh perspective; it’s all about lens. It allows you to see how other cultures or regions or states are doing the same thing you are, but in a different way. How does your competition in Maine promote their social media in a brick-and-mortar store, for instance? Could this work at home in Nebraska?
For example, a client I work with is a high-end children’s store. I’ve been working with their account for about two years now, and know their social media like the back of my hand. In Scotland, I can take photos of children’s clothing displays to use for an Instagram posts about families around the world, showing that even if it’s different than our usual product shots, we’re aware that we don’t live in a bubble and can switch up our content from the usual stream.
Second, this trip has made me think more in depth about different perspectives and the importance of having a team on your social media, as opposed to just one person. Think about it– a team brings so many viewpoints and travel experiences and social media experiences and cultural knowledge to social media: My trip to Scotland, and John’s trip to Utah, etc. etc. along with all the other accumulated knowledge we have is going to make for a far superior product to anything that one person could do on their own, no matter how hard they try.
And finally, being slightly uncomfortable for the sake of growth is also a valuable lesson to learn. Let’s say that you’re a CMO and your boss doesn’t want to try something new or outsource for social media, or doesn’t understand why it’s worth those budget dollars. Even if there’s a growth period, and your social media isn’t wildly viral in the first day – spoiler alert, that’s not how it works, it’s worth your time and money to invest in a long-term marketing process that will glean you a closer connection with your customers in the long run.
Image Credit: CC by Yogendra Joshi