Hi, my name is Mikos and I am Data Security Watchdog of exploreB2B. My job is watching and observing. Working for a Content Marketing and Self-Publishing Network I have noticed some things you could learn for your marketing efforts from a Newfoundland dog:
Leave time for some sniffing and getting to know
We dogs have a ritual when we meet: we watch, we sniff, we walk around in circles before deciding on enemy or friend, engaging in business or just walking by.
Even though social media is a fast moving world, leave time for some sniffing around before deciding if your potential connection is friend or foe (and certainly before bombarding them with a business proposition).
It is not the loudest dog that is the strongest, fastest or best
I rarely bark, but if I do, I have a reason and something to say. Otherwise, people will mistake me for something I’m not: obnoxious and unworthy of paying attention to when I have something important to say.
The same goes for marketing: if you have to shout to get noticed, people will tune you out. Great content should be worth being noticed on its own (just like great dogs). When you create something worth reading, people won’t feel violated when you share it. Just barking louder (or to say it in social media terms – repeating the same status update multiple times in a row OR IN ALL CAPS), does not make you or your content worth getting noticed.
Do not fight each other; social media is social
Watching people with different personalities and characteristics fighting over their social media success (like a pack of wolves), I discovered one thing: it is better to work together. The social media cake is big enough for all of us and you will notice that many big names in marketing have found a way to connect, to help each other, share content and interact.
I know that you marketers all have your own purposes and want to achieve something unique, but it is not making others small that will enhance your success. In social media, you want to build a reputation – and that is all about the opinion others have of you. Better to treat others with the same care and thoughtfulness you wish to be related to your name, or you can expect your reputation to drop faster than you can build it.
As with dogs – people in social media have long memories. Stay in a positive light with as many people as possible; you never know when you might need the pack.
Do not bite the weak
Social media is still new, especially in B2B. This, many people and companies have started to utilize different networks, without having figured out the special mechanisms and processes for each channel. Sometimes people misstep (this has happened to all of us at some point during the learning process); sometimes people shout when they should be soft or post a promotional article or comment in place of being educational and sincere.
Try to remember the times when you where a social media pup yourself. How grateful were you for some pats on the back and scratches behind the ear – for some tips and help, likes and shares.
There is not much strength to be shown in biting weak opponents. If you want to show your strength and skill, go for a worthy opponent (maybe, a troll) and help the weak find their way.
Not everybody is your enemy
Some dogs I meet, bark or growl at me. Some of them (I assume), do not recognize me as a dog (I look like a bear, so that should be forgiven). In most cases, a friendly explanation helps and we still manage to be friends later.
There are always misunderstandings. In social media, the smile in your words might get lost in your writing, an exclamation mark could be mistaken as a growl while it was intended as a friendly “wuff,” and a comment mistaken for an ironic insult when it really was in all earnestness meant to give you a “thumbs up.”
Before succumbing to brash reactions, give people the opportunity to explain their meaning. In many cases, it will turn in your favor – maybe even resulting in a new friend.
Not every bone is worth fighting over
Someone stole your best Sunday treat?
Before jumping into the fight, consider if the bone is really worth fighting for. Is there any chance of you getting the bone back? Might others join, making it harder to retrieve? Will the fight even be fair?
Sometimes (even if you are in the right), a third dog might take off with the bone, while you are still fighting – or worse – by the time you get there, the bone is already gone.
Before jumping on heals of the perpetrator (maybe the blogger who quotes you without mentioning the source) think about the consequences and other ways to settle the argument.
Consider wisely, whether or not you want to engage in public discussion and article comment wars. Even though you might be in the right, in these situations, it is easy to wrongly be labeled a “troublemaker” or “biter” – when all you meant was to defend your position or get back what was yours in the first place.
In social media, there are always new chances to find a hearty bone.
Being calm is one of the primary characteristics of a Newfoundland dog. Another is thinking first and acting later (even if this might happen in just an instant).
That is a good way to approach social media. Try not to give into every initial impulse – step back, think and act with the consequences in mind.
And remember to enjoy playing in your expansive social media yard.
This article originally appeared on exploreB2B and was republished with permission.