When I started my first job in NYC, I never missed the opportunity to pick up an Inc., and lust after the new business ventures and advice featured in the magazine. Something about Inc. and I just clicked. So ---> I was absolutely starstruck when a writer for Inc. followed me on Twitter. Yep, that's all it takes, people.
So you can only imagine my level of shock when he asked to interview me. I had to read the Tweet a couple of times to make sure he meant me --> seriously?! What in the world would he want with me?
A few weeks later, the article was published on Inc. and the replies came in drones (read full article here --> In the Game of Twitter-World Domination, Meaningful Engagement Is a Touchdown). I was, again, in shock. Not only was I in an article on Inc., but people were actually loving it! However, the replies surprised me. The most common one was thanking me and the writer (the lovely Mr. Bill Carmody) for keeping it simple yet relevant. People LOVED that they could read the article and immediately act on everything within it, without employing some social media guru to read between the lines. For me, I wasn't trying to make it easy on the reader --> I was just sharing the valuable things I knew about Twitter (and I had an excellent interviewer!).
What can we learn? KEEP IT SIMPLE. I love sharing Don Draper's famous quote, "Make it simple but significant." It's one my most Tweeted quotes! Why? Simplicity is attractive on social media. Simple leads to connections because simple allows people to easily, efficiently respond and participate in conversations.
Now, I'm not saying you should go dumb down your company and try again on social. I AM saying that you should not waste time trying to come up with the most elaborate social strategy in the world just to say that you have the most elaborate social strategy in the world. The focus should never be at creating complexity on social. If your contest takes more than one glance to enter, people won't enter it. If your conversation takes a dictionary and Wikipedia to participate, people won't participate.
No I'm not saying elaborate social strategies aren't effective. I've seen many complex strategies that worked well for that brand. I am saying that the initial give from your consumer needs to be matched by the value you are giving them as a brand. If you are providing them with an awesome free trip to Europe for a month, then maybe they will stay interested long enough to follow through with your Instagram hunt. However, if you're just wanting them to follow your Instagram hunt for the hell of it, or a small prize they could have picked up at the 7-11, then don't expect many of them to follow through on it.
Simple resonates. Simple doesn't mean that you have to speak in layman's terms and really, REALLY spell it out for the consumer. It just means that you need to be direct, cut the flowery bullshit and gimmicks, and provide your consumer with valuable content right off the bat. Don Draper's quote doesn't end at "make it simple" --> he adds BUT SIGNIFICANT. Using a straightforward approach in social media will help make you more significant to your consumers by allowing them to more effectively engage with you. By clearly outlining what you want from them, or what you can give them, you pave the road for meaningful relationships.
What made my interview with Inc. successful? I was straight to the point and didn't try to sell some bullshit philosophy. I explained exactly what I do on a daily basis with my own Twitter account --> no gimmicks, just heartfelt experience.
Try a more simple approach with your consumers and see what happens. They might just actually join the conversation, and maybe even start joining the conversation. If you're really lucky, a writer from Inc. will reach out to you ;)
- Marji J. Sherman