5 Social Media Lessons from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

by Ken Mueller on December 7, 2012 · 23 comments

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Today’s post is a guest post from Erin Feldman.

I have long loved the misfit characters in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Rudolph with his nose, Hermey the elf who wants to be a dentist, the toys with their seemingly wrong attributes and names. They’re all misfits in one way or another. They don’t quite fit. They’re the square pegs that will never, ever fit into a round hole.

At first, all those characters try to smooth their rough edges. Rudolph covers his nose. Hermey works in Santa’s Workshop. The toys hide on the island. They’re told they need to blend. They’re told they’re too different. They come to believe that their differences mean either they need to run away or they need to be left to rot on an island.

Their perspectives begin to shift. They’re thrust into circumstances that require their qualities and abilities. They begin to see their differences allow them to contribute to the community and to make that community more vibrant.

How does that relate to people and social media? I can think of a few ways:

  1. Your differences can be your strengths. Hermey’s strength was teeth. He used his knowledge to defeat the Abominable Snow Monster. Without his skills, the story of Rudolph and his friends would have gone very differently.
  2. Your differences make you stand out from your competitors. Do you have square wheels? Polka dots? The seemingly wrong name? Use those things to your advantage. Celebrate them.
  3. Your talents should be shared with others. Rudolph and Hermey and the other misfits don’t use their talents to mock the “normal” ones. They share their talents. They serve others with them.
  4. Your strengths do not preclude you from weaknesses. Rudolph couldn’t pull the sleigh on his own. He could guide it, but he couldn’t pull it. He needed the other reindeer.
  5. Your abilities give you the opportunity to help others. When Rudolph is restored to his family and friends, he doesn’t forget the other misfits. He rescues the toys. He shares his success with Hermey and Yukon the Prospector.

What other social media lessons do you see in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

 

Erin Feldman is a writing coach at Write Right. Her background is in marketing communications and creative writing. When she isn’t busy helping people tell their stories, she spends her time writing poetry, drawing, reading, and running.

 5 Social Media Lessons from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
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21 comments
barrettrossie
barrettrossie

Erin, do you ever sleep? 

Excellent points. Maybe add: Stay prepared. One opportunity may not pan out, but another may pop up when you least expect it.

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

VERY clever post EF. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the highlight, the pinnacle, the main theme of the story -- Rudolph's red nose. Just like Rudolph used his special gift for the benefit of others, I think one social media lesson we can learn from the story is that we are the most powerful, the most influential, the most effective when we use special characteristics and talents in an altruistic way for the benefit of others. This is what social media is all about. Enjoyed reading this!

magriebler
magriebler

The Misfit Toys created a wonderfully supportive community that celebrated their members' unique qualities and allowed them to shine ... just like Rudolph's nose. Finding people who appreciate you just the way you are gives you the strength to stand out. Everyone's a winner in that scenario.

Now I have a hankerin' to watch Rudolph ....

emilykantner
emilykantner

I love the creativity of this post! And it's so true--I see people really just trying to blend in online, but quirkiness can make you stand out from the crowd and be a real strength.

Erin F.
Erin F.

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Not publishing as frequently at my site lets me publish elsewhere. :) No post at my site; I'm set with the three per week.

I saw the title for your post yesterday and let out a "Oh, crap." I wondered if I should change the title for the post, but it was too late by then.

Latest blog post: Work is not a Four-Letter Word

Erin F.
Erin F.

@John_Trader1 That's why I get paid the big bucks...

Yes, exactly. I actually wrote about your idea in a post on my site. A different angle, of course, but the main point was that the work doesn't matter if it's done at the expense of others.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Latest blog post: Work is not a Four-Letter Word

Erin F.
Erin F.

@magriebler So they did. Do you think it took the "interruption" of Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon to make them realize that they were of worth? They didn't need to stay on the island. Maybe I'm reading too much into the film.

Latest blog post: Work is not a Four-Letter Word

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@emilykantner Thanks, Emily! Erin did a great job with this, and really saved me from my little writing rut. And quirkiness can make you stand out. 

On another note, I'd love to have you guest post here as well!

And on a third note, when are we getting together for coffee?

magriebler
magriebler

@Erin F. I think you hit the nail on the head. Disruption is a great way to get our attention and push us out of our comfort zone. (Even failure can start to feel really comfortable; no risk involved!) 

emilykantner
emilykantner

 @KenMueller My quirkiness saves me sometimes when I'm stuck in a writing rut, so it can be good for something :)

I would be honored to guest post for you!

Coffee in good old Lancaster County would be great. I'm in town every week day!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 5 Social Media Lessons from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (inklingmedia.net) [...]

  2. [...] As the parent of three children (now ranging in age from 18-23), I spent many years reading some of the classic children’s picture books to my kids, some of which are still in my collection. Today’s guest post on the Friday Blogging Experience is from my friend Erin Feldman. She has written here before about Facebook and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  [...]

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