Everything I needed to know about building a business on Social Media I learned in Kindergarten
Well it’s true!
Here’s the video of the presentation I gave at 140 Conference Hudson Valley in August and some of the content for those of you who are Just Too Busy to watch a 17 minute video. At least the earthquake we experienced that day had the decency to happen 3 hours BEFORE my speech. So I was just happy to be alive. Not nervous at all. Eyeroll. Please see the rest of the fabulous 140 conference Hudson Valley videos here. I was on an #Usguys panel that day which I’ll write another post about. All of the speakers did a great job! Thank you to the Dragon Search team for allowing me to Show and Share. : )
Kindergarten… Think back to when you were 4 or 5 years old. I realize it’s past nap time. IT’s cocktail hour. Unfortunately, there is no cocktail hour in Kindergarten. Let me help take you there. It’s the first day of school. You’re 4 or 5. I was 4 all though kindergarten. Always the youngest in the class. You may have been to school, like a preschool before, or maybe not. If you know a lot of people already you’re probably looking forward to it.
If you don’t, you’re scared stiff, hiding behind your mom when she walks you in…sliding into your tiny little chair at your tiny little table. You look around. Do I know people? Will I like this? Will people like me? Will this be FUN? Is there really fingerpaint every single day, or is that just a rumor my mom told me to get me out the door? Remember all of this? Does any of this sound like the first month you were involved in Social Media.. or does it sound like you think what social MAY be like because you have not tried it out yet?
Relax. I’m here to share with you how …what I have known since I was 4 or 5 years old helps me do Business on Social Media every single day. Many of you already know that I do jewelry sales, charity fundraising, and social media consulting and I do manage to get a decent share of my business from the internet talking about it through Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, 4 blogs, Linked in and YouTube.
And that’s enough.
Do not invent any more ways for me to use social media. Because I will use them.
When I analyzed what I could offer you in terms of what I know I immediately thought of how easy it is to explain if you just simplify things. Sometimes when things look complicated, people are wary of using them. And that reminded me of kindergarten.
So there you are. Question. How many of you had a built-in nap or nap time in your kindergarten class? I could never sleep during nap time. I was never tired. I was always the wake up fairy. The teacher always chooses the kids that are awake. Nobody wants a crabby wake up fairy. We had a yardstick. that was the magic wand. Which is why I always tell people even in a small town to think in terms of their business as being a global business. Somebody is always awake.
Who is your wake up fairy? You should know them. It’s probably you.
So there you are on your first day of Kindergarten, and the teacher sits you down and explains the rules. My teacher was about 22 years old with cat glasses. We loved her. Mrs. Solenberger.
These were the basic rules and how I think I can help you in Social Media.:
1. Use an indoor voice.
I don’t care how crabby or excited you may be.. Do not appear to be harsh or yelling at someone unless you actually are and they are friends and you are having what I call a Regis Philbin-style outburts. Well timed out bursts are fine. Meanness is not. When you’re mean and yelling on Social Media, guess what? You look like you’re mean and yelling on social media. Watch your tone.
2. Listen when someone is speaking.
Sometimes somebody may be communicating with you and you need to read carefully what they say or read between the lines. People are not always going to come right out and ask you things or tell you things. Simply listening to what your customers want is a very simple key that will enable you to modify your own thoughts of what you THINK they wanted and adjust. The ability to adjust your business strategy ON THE SPOT is what makes social media so cool.
Because you can say YES.
I can do that for you.
That’s a great idea.
That’s the beauty of social media. It’s live, on the spot customer service. Listen carefully and think on your feet. Or hanging upside down from the monkey bars. Whatever works for you.
3. Raise your hand to share ideas.
Unless you know someone well, say something before you butt in on a group conversation, Hello, how are you? That’s funny. What do you think about XYZ. Unless your are in an organized hashtag chat, Don’t just butt in randomly in a conversation when you have never spoken to the parties involved. Especially if you don’t agree with what their points of view are. At least say hello first. It seems harsh and random otherwise. Trollish, as we say.
4. Treat others with kindness.
It takes so much energy to be negative in social media. As my grandma used to say, you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. She was from the south. She said a lot of things like that. And she made really good pie. Why jump on the negative bandwagon. You make yourself look petty and trivial. Being nice and helpful is good for other people and what’s good for other people is good for your business.
5. Follow directions.
It takes patience to learn new things. Don’t get frustrated. You will make mistakes, But if there are directions to be read. Read them.
6. Always participate in Show and Tell.
YouTube is show and tell. Tweeting pictures is show and tell. Think about it. Let people into your life a little. Especially your business life. People like to do business with people they know and relate to on some level. Tell them who you are. I’m not saying put pictures of your family up, in fact I’m totally against that. Too many crazy people roaming the streets. Some things should be private. But we all have our quirks and sometimes it’s our quirks that unite us and draw us together.
7. Bring enough to share with the whole class
If you have something to share then don’t hide it under a bushel. DM a few people you know, ask for help. People like to share good news.
8. Help out the shy kid
You know who they are. they are the ones who just say a word or two. Be patient . Go ahead and ask them a question or two. Introduce them to somebody with the same interests. This person may be your most sincere brand advocate. They have HUGE hearts.
9. Tolerate the ADHD kid
Respect the spaz. It could be you. The ADHD kids are the ones always seem to be online. They have boundless energy. An opinion on everything. They probably aren’t, they probably time their tweets and updates or they use their phone. Because they always need to be doing SOMETHING. They make amazing brand advocates. ADHD kids are the Cheerleaders of Social Media.
10. Listen to the teacher
Even though supposedly there is no such thing as a Social Media Expert , because things keep changing so rapidly proficiency takes time… clearly there are people who just operate better than others in the arena and are good at sharing the info. So why not listen? Always keep your ears open. I think I know plenty, but I absolutely learn something every day from listening to people who know more than I do.
11. Ask questions
It can be complicated like a coding, ROI or SEO, or strategy or customer service question, or, like me, sometimes you can text a picture of the most trivial thing and ask which one should you buy? What kind of pie do you like. Miracle whip or Hellman’s. Football, baseball, soccer, or roller derby. Regular bacon or low sodium. Crispy or crunchy. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry and why? I’ve gotten a lot of very smart answers to stupid questions.
12. Be childlike, nobody ever really grows up.
We are all still children deep down. That’s when our personalities get formed, Find out who your customers and clients were when they were kids you uncover what their motivations in life might be. Their life motivations reflect their purchasing decisions. How many times have I heard oh, I liked that so much as a kid?
13. Apologize if you screw up
Words are interesting things. When they get flying sometimes the wrong ones out. Hopefully all the right ones come out when you are dealing with your customers and clients, but if not, apologize. It’s easy to do and the right thing to do.
14. Say Please and Thank you.
It’s amazing how often people forget . Manners matter in business and in social media. You can’t be too polite. People appreciate it.
15. Don’t be afraid to get messy
Use the fingerpaint. Social media is my fingerpaint. It’s a wonderful creative tool for people in any kind of business to use to share what they know with the world. Paint your picture and hang it on the refrigerator door… that is social media. If you have not yet opened up the jar and gotten your hands messy, please do.