Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. All seemingly innocent names, right? However, the aforementioned sites can all be directly linked to one of our generation’s ultimate fictional, yet realistically diabolical villains. So, in honor of the sequel of the cult classic (especially of suits and MBA-wielders), Wall Street, recently being announced, I thought I’d take a look into how the many lessons GG taught Bud Fox can be applied to social media.
Information is the most valuable commodity. It should be no shock that people are on social media sites to connect with their friends and family. So, when utilizing social media to spread your message, make sure it’s not viewed as an interruption, but as an asset. How exactly do you do that? Quite simply, post things that you know (or at least think) will add value to your viewer’s life, day or that particular moment in time. The best (and sometimes arguably the worst) thing about social media is that you’ll be able to get a pretty good sense of if what you’re posting is of value, based on interaction. It’s no secret that we’ve been in a message-laden culture for some time now, and as that increases, consumers will all start to value how they spend their time over how they spend their money. Providing relevant, useful or entertaining content will make your brand an asset, as opposed to a nuisance.
Always have a back-up plan. In the flick, Gekko reevaluates his plan with Bluestar Airlines and determines what he believes to be a better course of action - social media campaigns need to be met with the same sort of flexibility. Of course, your Plan B probably won’t involve turning an entire company into a garage sale – but, if you go in with one set plan, you can at least expect to modify, if not completely change, said plan. As stated above, fans and followers will offer their feedback, and some will even go as far as to be brutally honest. When that honesty isn’t exactly in support of your organization’s initial strategy, you’ll need at least a solid idea of a back-up plan.
It’s never a one-man operation, and it always helps to have eyes in the field. Just like Gekko had employees in his office and hot on the trails of anyone who could potentially mean anything to his business, the same goes for social media. With any social media campaign, you need multiple sets of eyes and sources of brainpower. Regardless of whether your running a political campaign or launching a new product or service, there are going to be many employees and people in your organization that are all a part of the process. And, therefore, their voices and perspectives should be included in your social media campaign. As far as keeping your eyes in the field, we don’t necessarily think you need a spy, but it always helps to solicit feedback from your followers and fans about the content you’re sharing and the tone your outreach has.
Watch your competition closely, and look for opportunities to differentiate, not copy. As Gekko follows the every move of his arch nemesis, Sir Larry Wildman, your organization should be following your competition’s strategy and messaging, specifically in the social media space. And, just as he looks for opportunities to outsmart and differentiate himself from his competition, instead of following in their footsteps, it’s important for an organization to do the same in social media.
Lunch is for wimps. Don’t get me wrong, I avidly recommend three square meals a day, and even a snack or two, but the point is that while social media may seem fluffy and fun, it has a lot more in common with thecutthroatness of Wall Street. You see, social media is ever changing; your audience can shift and platforms can drastically rearrange and morph all within an instant. There’s also more risk involved than the traditional campaign since it’s success or failure can be much more visible, and in most cases, people can offer their feedback for all to see. Also – if you’re doing it right – it’s a fulltime job. It takes planning, analyzing, determining strategies, creating content and implementing it all. Thus, not always leaving much time for leisurely lunches.