Brands: You can’t hide and then expect to participate in social media

pickup-basketball

So I’m late. There’s a killer pick up game of basketball going on down  at the park.  I know they play every Monday , Wednesday and Friday at 5pm. For weeks I sit and watch them. This time I’m gonna play. There’s 11 guys including me. They pick up teams and I don’t get picked. WTF? I know I can play with these guys, their games are weak. Yet, I still don’t get picked. Why is that?

Because they don’t know me. Even though I’ve been watching them for weeks, they don’t know me. I could have easily played dozens of times over that span of time and yet I chose not to. Now when I want to, they don’t want to let me, because they don’t know me or anything about me. I’m not even a  familiar stranger to them.

All I had to do was take that first step and become part of their little community. I don’t even rise up when they needed a 10th guy so they could run. Benny, Joe, Arnold, Rambis, Chris D, BV, California, Stick, Coach, and Jackie, could have used me but I stayed passive and quiet. Just watching.  All it would have required was an occasional appearance in one of their games, and I could have played any time I wanted. Minimal effort on my part to get the ball rolling.

You’re a brand, thinking about social media. Thinking about community, about your customers, about growing your reach and your depth. Thinking about getting in. What should you do? How would you do it?