It's a fine summer day and you are by a lake sitting on the dock. The water seems tempting. A bunch of kids are swimming and playing in the water. They make scary looking dives and try to drown each other in time to time. It looks all very intimidating. The kids have obviously been doing this, it's like walking or breathing for them. An athletic looking guy gives you an all knowing grin and makes a splash going in to the water. He's good at swimming. An elderly lady tells you the water is fine. She's got a thick skin, as if she's been swimming in ice all her life.
Everyone else is there, in the lake. Everyone but you. You try the water with your toe. It's not freezing. It's hard to tell though, cause the surface has been warmed by the sun. On the other hand you want to swim. You know it's great exercise and you imagine it would feel so nice. The cool water on your heated skin. But you are afraid. You are afraid cause the water is deep and dark. You are afraid cause you don't know how cool it really is. And you are afraid of seeing silly, struggling to swim. You aren't as good as that athletic guy.
You've got two options: To be brave and try it out or to chicken out. If you are brave you might learn to swim quite well eventually. And you'd get all the benefits of the swimming. If you chicken out you won't seem like an amateur and you won't get cold. You could believe the elderly lady, you could follow the lead of the kids and maybe even ask the athletic guy some tips and help with your swimming techniques. But in the end it's all about you, it's about your swimming style and resistance of cold. You choose whether to get in the water or not. Just don't dive in with your head first.
This is an analogy. In this case it's an analogy for companies and even private persons in using social media in marketing or anything else. It could be an analogy for anything new, frightening and unknown. I'm coming up with so many analogies these days. Could I say I'm analogical?
I'm Mervi Emilia Eskelinen, an artist, and a multi-talent of web visibility and branding from Finland. I help indie businesses, freelancers and bloggers to stand out online. I have 18 years of experience and a formal education in everything about web design and development, branding and online marketing.