Five things therapy horses can teach us about social media

Credit: Justin Houk, Flickr

Although social media can be confusing and overwhelming at times, there are a few basic rules that our therapy horses know instinctively that apply for this type of communication. We’ll start with the top five:

1) One size does not fit all

Just as you match the horse to the rider, match the media channel with the message.

How and where you say something can be as important as what you say.

2) There is always something new to learn

A good therapy horse has the ability to learn new things through verbal and non-verbal language and then apply it to previous knowledge.

The tools and technology are a starting point but success will be how to keep learning ways to understand and relate to your audiences.

3) Relationships are reciprocal.

Just like a pat on the neck, a kiss on the nose or carrot go a long way, letting your audiences know you appreciate them for sharing your cause, spreading your story, making that donation, volunteering their time helps build two-way relationships.

4) Stay calm and carry on

Things that you don’t expect or plan for will happen. Fight the urge to flee. Stick around and work through hiccups.

Making an impact takes time and progress may not be perfect, but you’ll gain respect of your audiences that you stayed with them.

5) “Not everything that counts can be counted, not everything that can be counted counts”

Just as counting the number of minutes a student spent in a ring or what color their shirt was for the day doesn’t equate progress, social media success goes well beyond the numbers of “likes,” “friends” or “+1s.”

Qualitative results are more important than quantitative results – measure the breakthroughs for each unique relationship.

 

Are there other rules that should be added?

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