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A farmer by definition is a person who cultivates the land. A gardener by definition is a person who cultivates seedlings and their offspring for growth. Sure, farmer and gardener both cultivate. But there is a difference – and it’s a huge one – the difference between a farmer and a gardener is what they cultivate, how they cultivate it and what happens to what is cultivated.

Ask yourself:

– Are you raising your relationships on Social Media for just a season or do you raise them to be transplanted? Farmers cultivate crops for consumption (offers, coupons, # of fans and likes, etc.), plants are cultivated  for growth and transplanting (developing real relationships/connections, Social CRM)

– Do you care about the roots of the crops? Farmers do somehow, but the roots cannot grow too deep. In contrast to the gardener, the farmer cannot allow a crop’s roots to get to the depth that will generate new growth or new life because that takes time and crops are just cultivated for a season.

– Do you cultivate shallow roots (relationships) to harvest them easily? Or do you care deeply about your crop, focusing on building strong roots?

– Do you cultivate the soil (Social Platforms) by hand (Gardener) or by a plow? (Farmer) Are you cultivating by the human touch or by the cutting touch of a tool?

– Do you consider your audience a crop (a commodity, here for a short time) or a plant (a thing of beauty, filling you with a sense of pride)?

– Are you cultivating for consumption or to grow something special?

Being a farmer cultivate is not a bad thing. We just have to understand and be very clear with everybody that farmers grow for one season and when the season is over, the farmer has gained value but the crop which was grown is now harvested.

The gardener, on the other hand, understands that the relationship between him and the plant is one of growth and time. There’s a huge commitment of time and money that is needed to make the growth come forth.

So, are you a gardener? Or a farmer?