I was on a John Hughes movie binge (no shame) the other day when I noticed something awesome.
That's the whistling scene from one of my favorite films...The Breakfast Club. Five teens who seemingly have nothing in common are sentenced to Saturday detention for reasons that are revealed as the movie progresses. By the end, friendships are forged, romances are ignited, and Judd Nelson is sporting a sweet diamond earring.
So, I was sitting there watching one of the best 80s movies ever made and in one scene Andrew, your stereotypical athlete jock (played by Emilio Estevez) said, "We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it."
WTF! I thought. I sat up. This is basically Facebook's tagline.
Which got me thinking.
Navigating social media sometimes feels like this:
And figuring out which social media sites are the best platforms for your particular business definitely feels like this:
But social media for business is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. AND THEN I REALIZED how easy it was to sort through social media with the genius of John Hughes.
So here's a breakdown...
Andrew Clark - The Athlete - Facebook
Facebook. Over 1 billion users. Over 829 million people visiting this site every day, spending an average of 20 minutes. It appeals almost evenly to men and women. It is the MVP of social media and looks to rule the cafeteria for a good while. You can be selling anything from fly fishing rods to the latest lifesaving medical technology, and you have a chance to try out for the team. While there are plenty of Facebook courses that promise to boost you up and get you thousands of fans, be careful not to burn out your ad budget.
Brian Johnson - The Brain - LinkedIn
LinkedIn is NOT spontaneous. A network built on the backs of B2B connections, this website eats, sleeps and breathes strategy. You can network locally and abroad, join active discussions and talk shop, find vendors and referrals, and make your way up the ladder of your industry. Perfect for someone who offers B2B services or products and isn't the hard-sell sales-y salesperson, but likes to foster meaningful connections over messages, recommendations and lunches.
Make sure you put your best foot forward with a business profile that is short but comprehensive, professional with all of your contact information, and make sure to post regularly to stay in your circles' spotlight.
John Bender -The Criminal - Twitter
Twitter is a robust grape vine of breaking news, shared articles, hashtag games, witty jokes, corporate trolling, hot-button issue debates, conference livestreams, celebrities, and...weird Twitter. Perfect for the businessman/woman who has a lot to say, and who actually likes talking and steering conversations, intriguing people with bold-as-hell and re-tweetable bites like PRINT BOOKS ARE DEAD and who can maintain amazing customer service and genuine response to feedback.
The average lifetime of a tweet is 8 seconds. If you automate everything on Twitter, you will lose. You have to be a strong voice in real time as much as possible and capable of leading or nurturing a pack.
Claire Standish - The Princess - Pinterest
Pinterest is where the business princesses rule. If you're a female entrepreneur who offers products or services for women (or you know how to market your male-specific products in a way that appeals to women), get thee to Pinterest.
It breaks down like this: businesses create boards that are themed by topic, and contain pins that include a graphic, a description, and ideally a link. Potential customers browse boards or stumble upon them from Google search results, and share or "repin" these items to their boards. Instant boost in your marketing at no cost.
Allison Reynolds - The Basket Case - Instagram
Instagram is the one who looks at things differently. It can often reveal unforgettable and beautiful moments, which customers want. Businesses that need to drive visual components BIG TIME such as small-item retailers, designers, artists, caterers, publishers, galleries, videographers, photographers, marketing agencies, travel agencies and more belong here.
This site gives you the toolbox to create a brand story in pictures, add a description/comment with a link, and display ongoing company developments to your followers. The buildup of fans may not be overnight, but with smart curatorial senses and strategic promotion, it's a best bet for sticking out from the crowd of stock photo minions. It doesn't require a lot of technical know-how.
(I also have a theory that Mr. Vernon, the school principal/bad guy/Saturday detention overlord represents Google, but anyway.)
SO HERE'S MY ADVICE:
Take on one social media site at a time, and ONLY the ones that will work for you. Set up shop in a smart way. Talk to your fans and customers. Find out what people want. Thank your tribes for supporting you. Share a joke or a vulnerable moment. Own who you are.
Forge those relationships that are gonna make you victoriously throw one fist to the sky while Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" is playing in the background.
Because once you're having fun, leveraging your time, and growing your company presence in a smart way on social media, you'll ultimately feel like this:
We geek out on social media strategy.