What climbing Kili taught me about social media

Resources, Small business, Social media Oct 10, 2012 4 Comments

my goal to climb Kilimanjaro 2012 What climbing Kili taught me about social media

If you have been following my latest journey, I have just finished climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at the end of September. This was a fundraising effort to raise money for women in small business in Africa and a personal bucket list item of mine. I reached 17,500 ft on the mountain and due to altitude sickness, I turned around and came back down the hill. Hurray for me for making it to 17,500 ft, hurray for me for planning another summit in 2013.

This set out to be a personal journey with some R& R time thrown in at the end of my climb in Zanzibar. The beginning of the trip was business, meeting with local DMO’s and talking about social media marketing, social media marketing for tourism businesses and how I could most effectively help as many businesses as I could in such a short time span.

When the climb was done and I was drinking a g&t on the beaches of Zanibar reflecting on my Kili climb, it dawned on me, I think I know how to make the summit in 2013.

The devil is in the details

mt kili What climbing Kili taught me about social media

I am a very detailed person and when it comes to my business, details for me is what makes it all work. When planning for my climb, I checked everything off my list, double checked it, did my research and felt that I had it all together. When talking to my team about altitude sickness, I was informed that there was a pill on the market that I could take. Easy, purchased done. Well, the quick fix did not work for me. THe magic little pill did not solve the problem pronto like I thought it would. I thought that the magic pill could let me not worry about this part of my climb.

There are no magic pills. And there are no magic pills for social media. Lots of companies say they have a magic pill to make your posting easier, your fan base get larger, to increase you followers to make social media easy. The only way to make anything work is to do the work slowly, with strategy, take a break if it looks like something is not as it should be, and regroup when you need to. My group was stellar in taking me through this exact process when the magic little pill did not work. We walked slowly, we too breaks, we communicated as to how things were going, we descended to make me acclimate. YOur social media plan needs the same care and attention as my altitude sickness needed.

If you dont reach your goal, go at it again

I did not reach my goal, I did not reach the summit. Do you see me backing away from Kili? Hell no! I will work on my ability to acclimate better, I will research how to train for acclimation, I will test my acclimation through out the year, climbing to different heights and getting my body used to higher altitudes. I won’t give up and say that Kili is a dumb goal, i will just approach it differently and get to that summit.

If you don’t reach a social media goal, tackle it a different way. I hear over and over again, Social media is BS, it does not do what it says it should do. No, maybe your strategies are not getting you to your goal. My magic little pill did not get me there, so I will find another way. If you don’t get the amount of fans or followers you want, or the engagement you think you should have, tackle it another way. Social media works, you just need the right strategies to make it work for you.

Talk to those who know and can point you in the right direction

Climbing Kili What climbing Kili taught me about social media

I have never climbed a mountain before. I have never climbed to 17,500 ft. I don’t know the climate as you ascend up Kili, I have not bought a sleeping bag for over 30 years. I have not bought cold weather clothing for over 35 years. I was out of my league and I knew it. So I talked to the experts. I checked with a few people who have climbed Kili many times and discussed gear, clothing, food and all the tools I needed to make my climb. What my list was and what the list actually turned out to be are two different things. The brands that I thought I wanted, were not the brands I needed. Man I am indebted to those who provided me with their expertise and their experience. I am so happy I understand my body and my reactions to cold and warm weather. I am glad I asked and even happier that I listened.

I got way more out of my Kili climb than I though imaginable

My Kili climb and what I learned continues to  parallel my business and my personal life. This experience has also helped me look at business issues differently, personal hurdles differently and most of all, it confirmed  a lot of things that I thought I knew. Now I feel I really do know something, and those reminders are right in my face each and every day.

Don’t give up.


There are no quick fixes or short cuts.

Talk to the experts.

I’m ready.

Want to join me?

4 Responses to “What climbing Kili taught me about social media”

  1. Reply Lori Amble says:

    Always been on my ‘bucket list’ and I am interested in learning more……

  2. Reply Iaax Page says:

    I have always admired people who dare to climb mountains. You only know what a challenge it really is when you try it. And only those who try know. Every one else believes it is easy. That if they set their mind to it, they can do it to. The thing is, very few dare to try.

    I hope I can follow on your footsteps soon.

  3. Reply Jeanine Kitchel says:

    Great post, Kay. Very inspiring and thoughtful.

  4. Reply Marivic Brook says:

    You’ve hit two birds with one stone in this blog for me. I’ve always wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro but somehow the idea was more a dream than a reality. Somehow, I couldn’t quite grasp the enormity of such an adventure. Nevertheless, you have inspired me and I will make my tracks.

    Also, I am the Social Media Manager of All About Mexico and understand about its complexities. Thanks for sharing your experience. Good luck to you and congratulations.

Leave a Reply