Felix Baumgartner: A Giant Leap for Social Media
ROSWELL, NM- Evel Knievel must have been proud this weekend, possibly a little jealous, after 43-year-old Felix Baumgartner lept from the edge of space in a skydive jump that redefined the word extreme. Twenty-four miles separated Baumgartner from the surface of the Earth before he made his leap with only a pressurized suit and a parachute strapped to his back. Roughly nine minutes later, after having broken the sound barrier during his plummet back to Earth, the former Austrian paratrooper reflected on his life, and the seven years of training which brought him to this miraculous moment.
“Trust me, when you stand up there on top of the world, you become so humble. It’s not about breaking records any more. It’s not about getting scientific data. It’s all about coming home.”
Baumgartner’s death-defying stunt exemplifies the human desire to consistently test the boundaries of what’s possible. And the means by which we break these barriers are often made possible through technology, and the advent of computer mechanisms that peak our galactic curiosity and pro-activeness. Seven years is such a minute amount of time when you consider the magnitude of Baumgarnter’s leap. The man fell through Earth’s atmosphere for crying out loud; a modern day superhero comet in a spacesuit with RedBull advertising.
How does this apply to businesses?
Often, businesses feel like they are a parachute-less Baumgartner plummeting to the social media ground in a hailstorm of fury. In jumping through Facebook and Twitter black holes, businesses tend to lose faith when trying to cascade the social media summit of success in only a few months time. But a few months of tweets and Facebook posts will not get it done. Like Baumgartner’s training, social media takes massive preparation, calculation and a whole lot of self-motivation. Sure, social media success does not require seven years of study, but it surely does not come overnight.
Viral videos and YouTube sensations have the capacity to become instant trendsetters, but the majority of those videos lose their flare and become outdated footage with outdated followings. Conversely, successful social media profiles are the ones that sustain conversation, push the limits of innovation and build long-lasting relationships that will continue to thrive long after the viral laughs of YouTube videos have been silenced.
Sometimes businesses must take that “giant leap” in order to strike social media gold, and must wade through murky months of social media advertising before gaining the trust of the social world. Personal branding is a hit and miss endeavor with social media, but taking the time to suit up for the long haul, and understanding that Facebook and Twitter have gravitational pulls, will help remind businesses everywhere that it only takes a little debris of success to cause amazing social media and communicative supernovas.