Mary and Jenny are picking apples in the orchard. Mary works faster than Jenny and has 40 apples in her basket. Jenny has 34. They throw 4 apples away because they are bruised and both eat one for lunch. How many apples do they have in total?
Who cares?!!! In maths lessons I was far more interested in what Mary and Jenny were going to do with all those apples than boring old sums. Were they budding entrepreneurs or victims of child labour?
There are endless, well intentioned articles online about social media marketing, some are bursting full of facts and figures, percentages and statistics, gadgets and tools. Others are written like rule books with statements about what you should and shouldn't do and what you can and cannot say. Then there’s the numbers game, if you haven’t got 1,000 followers you’ll never get far. Most importantly, if you follow the Golden Rules, you’ll be aware that it’s a big mistake to ever, EVER mention on twitter what you are having for lunch. Talking about food seriously bores the pants off people.
But ......hang on, lets put our business hat on and go back to the orchard.
Mary and Jenny have 68 apples for sale. They've worked hard sourcing the finest product and know how good it tastes. They can sell their products individually or they can bake apple pies and sell everything to Bob who owns the local coffee shop. What option would make the biggest profit for the least effort? Would they need 1,000 likes on their Facebook page to be successful? Would it be beneficial if their sales pitch involved talking to customers about those big juicy apples?
When social media was brand spanking new everyone was cautious, brands made mistakes and lessons were learnt. Marketing experts generously shared their opinions and experiences and somewhere down the line those conversations were translated into 'The Golden Rules'. Habits were formed and barriers were created.
Rules are made to be broken, or at least questioned. Shake things up a little, be a rebel, add a little cinnamon to that apple pie and then at lunchtime, when people are hungry, tweet about food and tempt them to your stall.
If I can help with social media strategy, training or consultancy feel free to get in touch via LinkedIn, or email annie at annie boyd dot com.