If you haven't then that first paragraph probably sounds a little weird and has left you a little confused as to how that works! I can explain, honestly, just remind me, later on, to share that particular anecdote with you. However, it is an example of how inspiration or new ideas for how we can do things online come to me pretty much anywhere and at any time.
Like driving home this afternoon, for example. This one is going to sound just as random as the Bruce Lee Method, but bear with me and I promise there's some value to it. In the car, I was playing Spotify as I usually do and was listening to a particularly heavy playlist of mine, when quite unexpectedly the next track was a metal cover of John Farnham's famous 1986 hit 'The Voice'. I know what you're thinking, and yes, metal covers of 80's songs are a thing. (This particular cover was by Forever Never and is well worth a listen, if you're into that sort of thing).
Anyway, the lyrics started to remind me of how I think we should be using social media and how some of the businesses I work with are faced by certain problems or barriers that they need to break down to use these digital channels. Did John Farnham know something we didn't back in 1986? Still with me? Then let me explain.
The opening lyrics of the song are "We have the chance, to turn the pages over. We can write what we want to write" which made me think of how so many businesses or brands assume that because they're new to social media channels, they can literally post whatever they want to post, as often as they want. They couldn't be more wrong. Now more than ever, we have to consider our audience, what the platform wants and whether to write at all, or perhaps use video instead?
Then the rousing chorus tells us "You're the voice, try and understand it. Make a noise and make it clear" which reminds me that we need to understand exactly what our message to that audience should be. That we need to understand exactly what it is that we're trying to say and achieve. We're often told by experts that we have to 'cut through the noise' on social media, but their solution to that tends to be posting more content, more regularly. Perhaps John's suggestion of "Make a noise and make it clear" is where we should be focusing our efforts instead? A clear message, clear language and not one that's hidden or confused by more content.
"This time, we know we can all stand together" because we already know that collaboration is the key to successful social media, that working together means we all achieve more. "With the power to be powerful" and help each other share those ideas and messages, to amplify what we know is the right way of using social media and to build our own presence by building others up and not tearing their's down.
I've been working hard recently on some new values, showing that our Marketing needs to be respect driven in the future, because not enough of us respect our audiences enough online. Not enough of us respect others online, that are offering advice or actually walking their talk, like I believe all experts need to do and which I try to embody myself. But above all, we need to give them a reason to follow us, to comment, to share, to feel.
Because our audiences ultimately own our social media success, don't they deserve our respect? We can't keep bombarding them with content and no value. We can't keep telling them to buy from us, without offering them value upfront, no strings attached. "How long can we look at each other. Down the barrel of a gun?"
Social Media shouldn't be a Mexican Standoff, because too many of us keep potential followers and customers at arm's length. Give them value, give them respect and most importantly #GiveThemAReason