Doing the "Little Things"
How can you be a success?
Whether its ice hockey, relationships, social media, it's always the little things that matter. The little things set you apart, the little things make a different, and the little things that make you special.
The little things in hockey
This year was a great year for the Ferris State Bulldogs men's hockey team. If you follow our social networking, you probably noticed a few online shout-outs to my alma mater. The year I graduated from Ferris State, our hockey team reached the NCAA tournament for the very first time. 2012 was the second time ever that our "unknown" college made the tournament. Not exactly what was suspected - the Dogs were picked to finish 9th in THEIR DIVISION. How were they a sucess? The little things. The entire team played a solid defensive system, blocking shots. Check out this article from US College Hockey Online - which talks about "the machine." As a professional beer-league goalie, I can't tell you the number of times I wish I could get a few blocks from my team. But, think about it, shots need to reach the goal to have a chance of scoring - why not limit the number of pucks that get that far? Ferris State got to the national champtionship this year, shocking the world that pays attention to college hockey. (It's not often that a school has to have their state in parenthesis because nobody knows where the school is).
As a professional single person, I'm pleading the 5th here. ("Why did you even include this in the blog?" you're probably asking. Because I thought it was funny ... ). Now, I'm going to base this paragraph on every sitcom I've seen. How many times does the "oaf" husband get in trouble for not doing the little things? Homer Simpson, Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor, Ray Barone, this is an ingredient of every sitcom that I can remember watching. Remembering birthdays and important dates, opening the door, actually listening to your wife and not trying to watch the hockey game Learn from the TV guys, do the little things!
OK, so you had to know I was bringing this back to social media. Many businesses forget to do the little things, just making their Facebook and Twitter posts about impression marketing - "BUY ME" posts.
- Your social media should be a conversation - don't just post and forget! You are trying to create a brand - and not be a "big giant corporate machine that does not care about the consumer." Take a look at some of the comments that are received by Walt Disney World ... they do tend to get nailed on some of their posts as big giant companies do. If someone posts about high prices, you can verbally "justify" your prices (someone posted about their photo CD's only costings a few cents to produce, but charging $150+ for the CD --- Disney should respond with info about everything from copyrights to the luxury of not having to lug a camera into the parks). Take a look at Domino's Pizza where they don't respond as some followers accuse them of "pandering for likes" and other complaints. Missing a great time to exhibit some customer service and stand behind your product!
- Step outside the box - Don't just post "calls to action." Encourage interactions and other outside of the box ideas to keep your content fresh and interesting. You can "sneak" in your call to actions, but you will increase your unsubscribe rate if every day you post messages that only say "BUY ME." Usually I don't agree with Domino's and their posts, but I really liked this photo they put posted in March. It's not a typical pizza shot, but you're getting an indirect impression through the creativity shown by this young girl. The post said "House of Domino's Pizza boxes > house of cards. ANY DAY." No direct call to action, makes it much more unique and not "cheap advertising."
- Simple grammer and spelling - You don't want to make mistakes taht are easy. It is distracting and makes visitors wonder about if you can handle your core competencies if you forget to do the simple things. Yes, I purposely through some mistakes in this sentence. :-) Hard not to think I don't know what I'm talking about! Yes, it was probably just as hard to write this paragraph as it was to read it. In all seriousness, last year, the BBC reported a study about simple spellng mistakes on a business web site can reduce sales by 50%.
- Include a picture/catchy line if you can - Remember, most people will skim content and focus on your imagery. Just as I like to flip the channels on my remote control, I also see several different posts and tweets every hour. Why should I look at your post when I can click on something from TMZ.com? My posts for this blog article will include "Hockey, relationships, pizza boxes and your social media ... it's all about the little things". The goal is to ellicit the reaction of "That's strange, let me click ..." Odds are if you've read this far, it worked :-).
The simple conclusion
If you take just a few seconds to re-read your posts and say "Is this interesting? Will it stand out? Is everything spelled correctly?" You are going to be on your way to posting great content and strengthening your brand. It only takes a few seconds. Take a few more seconds to watch for reactions from your followers AND RESPOND. You can win business by doing the little things.
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