Today as I was looking for a photo to post on the Westchester Photography Facebook page, I remembered an image I recorded early one morning while on vacation this past August. I’d gotten up at 5:30 am to take photos of the sunrise, but by the time the sun had risen over the horizon on this hot and humid morning, things were looking pretty unimpressive. Don’t get me wrong — every sunrise is a sight to behold, but this particular one just didn’t seem as though it was going to rise above the ordinary in the eye of the camera.
Somewhat discouraged, I took my Nikon off the tripod and headed inside to make breakfast for my two sons. Several minutes later, as I was pouring orange juice, I noticed a stunning glow of colors pouring in through the living room window. The same sunrise from a different perspective took on an entirely different look. I carefully lined up a few shots and was extremely pleased with the results, but it was only later that I saw the lesson in this experience.
Sometimes we get so bogged down in what we’re doing that we fail to step back and look at things from a different viewpoint. This is especially true when it comes to social media. People try something once, get a result they don’t find acceptable, and give up entirely. There are companies that currently have no social media presence whatsoever, for the simple reason that their first experiences with it produced unfavorable results.
In the two years that I’ve been engaged in social media, I’ve tried dozens of experiments that could have easily been classified as failures — if not for the fact that they produced some kernel of knowledge that led to a future success. Fortunately, there are legions of other people out there working hard at figuring out the best ways to leverage this new technology — and many of them are willing to share their knowledge.
Take advantage of the opportunities around you, learn from your mistakes, and learn from others. Ask questions, search for answers and be willing to take a step back from a situation to gain a new, and often better, perspective.