We have all heard the benefits of eating a vegan diet, whether you do so for moral or health reasons. But what if we applied those same principles to our social media activity?
In an actual vegan diet, one eschews meat and animal products. That means no beef, chicken, pork, or fish. It also means no dairy or eggs. Or even honey. Instead, vegans eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains.
For many who try to go vegan, it means eating a lot of new foods. It requires finding a colorful variety of foods to ensure a healthy mix of nutrients. It involves more focus on what ingredients are in the foods one consumes, especially those cooked or baked by others where hidden animal products are common.
So let’s see how we might apply some of these principles to our own social media activity and programs.
Avoid Carnivorous Activity
There are lots of folks in social media who like to pick fights and act belligerently. Don’t prey on others and don’t fall prey to this activity yourself. There’s no reason to avoid civil debate, but don’t stoop to the level of those in social media who have a taste for blood.
Cook Up Transparent Activity
Just as many prepared foods and restaurant dishes have hidden animal products, lots of social media activity incorporates hidden motives and financial relationships. It is neither feasible nor advisable to disclose every possible perceived conflict of interest, but don’t try to hide obvious things like client relationships and the like. And never pay someone to say things for a fee without disclosing. It’s definitely bad for your social media diet.
Strive for Healthy Variety
We all fall into the trap of talking to our friends in social media. But if we do it to extremes, we don’t get the balance of nutrients we need to be successful. Just as a vegan can’t live on broccoli alone, we need to look for colorful diversity in our social media relationships. Follow and interact with others that you might not have otherwise sampled. Make time to focus on what those outside of your circle are saying so that you don’t fall victim to Bubble-Think.
Don’t Fear the Time It Takes to Make Beans
If you’re a cook you know that beans take a while to prepare. Sure, you can get them from a can – and that’s not a bad option – but there’s value in starting from a bag of dry beans, too. For your social media program, this may mean taking the time to create thoughtful, insightful blog posts rather than just churning out another “me too” item. Often investing a little more time into your creation will yield better, more sustainable results.
Cooking for Yourself is Healthier than Convenient Shortcuts
Vegans can still eat junk food. But it is better if they don’t. Fast food french fries may be vegan, but they’re not a wise choice for regular consumption. We can learn from this in social media and avoid the desire to take shortcuts. Building up an audience from scratch through real original substance beats using mechanical automation to artificially inflate follower numbers.
Focus on Whole Grains
Sure, you can dumb down your ideas and end up with white rice or Wonder Bread. But what sets you apart in social media is your own character and personality. Don’t strip that away because you fear a little discussion or dissent. If everyone agrees with what you have to say, it probably isn’t that interesting or insightful. Leave some husk on that grain and make a thoughtful case for your unique point of view – and back it up with some nutritious evidence.
Do Your Best, But Don’t Fear Failure
Even the most devout vegans slip up from time to time. Often it may be unintentional, as when a hidden animal ingredient turns up in a surprising place. Or it may be out of necessity when traveling far from home with few good, safe food options. Similarly, we all will find times in social media where we can’t pass up that piece of raw meat tossed in front of us and lash out. Or we fall into a rut for a while and talk to just our friends. Just remember to get back on track as soon as possible.
Remember it is a Lifestyle Not a Diet
Applying the healthful ideas of a vegan diet to one’s life represents more than just a way of eating. To be successful and sustainable, it must be a lifestyle that gets adopted. As we execute our own social media strategies and tactics, we need to determine and live by our own principles – and stick by them. They should fit comfortably and become second nature. If you need to keep a list like this nearby to know what to do every day, you have not succeeded. You need to internalize a healthy way of social media living to achieve long-term benefits in your communications program.