There are 7 E’s required for social media success. Success in social media may require more, but it will not happen without at least the majority of these:
Your followers want to know you stand behind them – not just your cash register. -Ben Lichtenwalner
Followers want to know you understand them. If you want fans, subscribers or customers in social media, empathize with your audience. Domino’s pizza did a good job of this with their “Oh Yes We Did” campaign. In this series of traditional and social media marketing messages, Domino’s Pizza confessed to poor quality and said they would change.
Support your audience through encouragement – especially when your product or services are involved. My favorite Sports store, Gazelle Sports, does a great job at this. After purchasing a pair of running shoes, the sales representative (Vicki) sent me a note, encouraging my goal of participation in a marathon. Your followers want to know you stand behind them – not just your cash register.
Social media is not just about being social. To the contrary, your audience expects something in return for following you. TOMS (shoes and now, eyeware), uses their blog for this purpose. The Toms blog covers a variety of topics around the mission of one-for-one (buy one, donate one). In fact, most blogs – commercial or not – serve this purpose. This is also one the reasons this site (ModernServantLeader.com) exists – to educate others on servant leadership.
In person, we don’t spend time with others unless we enjoy their company. One aspect of that enjoyment is some form of entertainment. Social media is the same. If you entertain participants, they are more likely to come back. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin just did a great job of entertaining online – by announcing the launch of Virgin Volcanic – their plan to journey to the center of a volcano. Among the passengers: Tom Hanks, star of the “Joe vs. the Volcano” movie. You guessed it – April Fools!
We are now more connected than any generation before us. As a result, what you know is less important than how quickly you can learn a topic. Therefore, subscribers and fans appreciate resources like lists, diagrams, how-to guides and other digital content they can reference. The American Management Association is excellent at equipping fans and customers. The company’s twitter account shares outstanding resources for free (both their own, original and other, external content).
To be a successful leader in any field, you need to exhibit authenticity. Without practicing what you preach, your followers will not last long. Social media technology provides the greatest platform for extending this ability. When I think of someone who exhibits authenticity in social media, I look to Tony Dungy. Tony does a great job of reflecting his passion for Christ, the NFL, family and ministry work. While others use social media to advance a commercial purpose alone, Dungy reflects who he is, as a whole person, through social media.
Responsiveness in social media is more important than many realize. It may be “better late than never”, but it’s also “the quicker the better”. Nothing says “you are important to me” more, than a quick response. The first person to amaze me with this practice was Michael Hyatt – then CEO of Thomas Nelson. Mr. Hyatt’s responses to my inquiries were blazing fast. If you want your fans, followers, subscribers and customers to recognize how you value them, expedite your responses.
Social media success may be achieved without some of these practices. However, to really excel, you need these practices and the more you have, the greater your likelihood of success.
Question: What other practices do you find important to social media success?