Last week while I was away at Summer Brand Camp, Billy got to thinking about his role as Clairemont’s CMO (chief motivational officer), and he decided it was time his voice (bark?) was heard on the Clairemont blog. Day after day he hears us talking with our clients about social media, and as you’ll read below, he thinks that approaching social the way a dog approaches life could have a lot of benefits.
Hello Tweetie birds, Facebook fleas, LinkedIn lions, Pinterest pigs, Google+ goats and all you other interesting social media creatures. Billy, here. I’m Clairemont’s chief motivational officer a.k.a. Billy Midnight Hughens, the Hughens family dog. After I’ve enthusiastically greeted everyone at the Clairemont office each day, I spend a lot of time in total frustration. Now you might be asking yourself…what does a dog have to be frustrated about? So much to tweet and no thumbs. Think about it!
I’ve got a lot to growl about when it comes to social media. I might look like I’m sleeping under Dana’s desk, but I’m really listening to her talk about social media strategy or relay a story about some sort of social media mishap committed by someone who didn’t know any better. When she mistakes my input for snoring, I’ll move over to the Clairemont couch where I can watch Josie review analytics on a client’s Facebook page. “Please, please, let me explain the difference in reach and impressions to the client,” I think.
Oh, and if I can time it just right, I might catch Margot eating lunch at her desk so I can see what she’s pinning on her dream wedding board this week. Dog gone it, I hope her daddy gets paid in more than milk bones because I’m here to tell you, that one dreams BIG. But it’s not all about saying yes to the dress (and the flowers and the cake and the veil and the shoes), Margot’s knowledge of the ins and outs of Pinterest sure is helping Clairemont clients incorporate this fun tool into marketing campaigns.
So you see, I spend most of my days thinking about social media and hearing my office mates helping others understand social media etiquette and how to use it for business. Sometimes they wear me out, and then I do actually nap. Before I doze off now just thinking about napping, let me throw you a bone and tell you the key to social media success: think like a dog. Here’s how you do it:
- Wag your tail. Wag your tail when you see someone you know. Wag your tail when someone does something you like. Wag your tail when you appreciate what some does for you. In other words, show your love on social media. Say good morning to some friends on Twitter. Like a friend’s Facebook status. Share a pal’s blog post on Google+. If you are happy and you know it, show it!
- Create leash-free environments. Okay, this one is for companies doing social media. Sure, sure, I get that there has to be some rules, but when you can, create leash-free spaces to allow the thoughts of your audience to run freely. Model your favorite dog park. Look, we all know that occasionally we’re having a dandy time when somebody comes along and poops right where we were playing. Clean-up crew! Get a bag. Scoop it up and keep playing.
- Don’t beg. Good behavior will be rewarded. Do you know those people who constantly ask for re-tweets? That makes me feel like I’ve got a bad case of the fleas. If you provide good content and don’t do rude things like stare at people when they eat, you will gain fans and followers who will gladly share your thoughtful content.
- On the other hand, if you need help, ring the bell. I wasn’t actually trained to ring a bell when I need to go outside, but I have my ways. Have I mentioned that I weigh nearly 100 pounds? I have the ability to exert the pressure of all that weight through my chin and onto the knee of the person I need to open the door for me. If you are new to social media, ask someone you trust to help you. If you are a company that doesn’t have internal resources, consider hiring an agency. Social media can be a dog eat dog world. Needing help is nothing to bury in the backyard.
- Mark your territory. Do you like to chase balls? Is swimming in the lake your thing? Chewing on rawhide? Slobbering? Whatever it is, own it. Pin pictures of the thing you love. Write blog posts. Facebook it. Hashtag it in your tweets. You get the picture. (Now share it.)
- Be the master. So maybe your busy schedule won’t allow you to get on Google+ to talk about how many ribbons you won at last week’s agility competition. Maybe you can’t pin it and tweet it, but maybe you can Facebook it. If you are a social media pup, start slow. Pick a channel and master it. Once you’ve learned all the tricks, maybe you’ll feel like adding another.
- Be careful where you put your nose. Wanna know what I love more than coming to the Clairemont office during the week? Saturdays! I love Saturdays! Because Saturday is the day my dad takes me on a Sniff Adventure. He let’s me take my time and sniff grass and trees and telephone poles, but he warns me about sticking my nose too far into something I don’t really know much about. Some other neighborhood dogs have been bitten by snakes doing that. Do I need to explain further? Didn’t think so.
- Accept that little dogs can bite. Speaking of things that can bite, that dang Sparky across the street weighs about as much as my ear, but that doesn’t stop him from biting me. I don’t like it! You might think that the little guy in your category can’t outsell you and therefore is no competition. Think again. Social media levels the playing field and if the little dog is all wags and wiggles to your customers, he’s likely going to take a bite out of your profit.
- Stop chasing your tail. Wanna know what gets my hackles up like nothing else? When I see brands so eager to show that they are engaged on social media that they do things that howl that they know nothing about engagement. The perfect example is syncing Facebook to Twitter so that a post to one automatically posts to the other. Call off the dogs! Every time that happens, a puppy is left out in the rain. Stop it.
- Ride with your head out the window. Remember to have some fun. Social media can be challenging, but hopefully these tips will help you enjoy the ride.
Well, there you have it. I think Billy sounds a bit like a dog with a bone. Wait a minute he is! I hope he’s happy now that we’ve let him have his own post. What has your dog been dying to share about social media?