What I learned about Social Media with Aerosmith and Run DMC

If this song doesn’t sound familiar, please do share in the comments how you have been living under a rock since the 70′s or how much you love Justin Bieber. Otherwise, I don’t see an excuse. Love it or hate it, it is a landmark of rock and rap. The original song is from Aerosmith’s album Toys in the attic, and in 1986 Run DMC covered it for their album Raising Hell.

Technically it is one of the best examples of how two musical genres can come together, it bridges a gap between two opposites.

and it started with a little kiss, like this

Content-wise, the song tells the story about a high school boy and his … objective. Regardless of how you feel about it, he knew what he wanted and looked to ways of making it happen. Also, he knew he was no good at it and seeked advice. It is a lot like communication. If you’re starting, be sure to start with simple objectives.

You either have a clear goal and try to come up with a strategy, or you are just doing it for fun. And we know there is nothing wrong with doing it for fun as long as you are clear about it.

Now that you have an idea about what you want, it is time to think about how to make it happen.

Remember the whole Keep It Simple Stupid adage?

I am taking the stupid part out. People aren’t stupid, they just don’t want to waste time understanding an article or complex set of ideas. But nonetheless, when we first start out with anything it is important to take simple steps. Think of it like this:

For individuals: I want to use twitter to talk with people who like photography.

For business: I want to know what people who like photography talk about so I can adjust my company accordingly.

Don’t start with a complex mission or set of tasks with e-business solutions, elaborate social media strategies or complicated goals. Take a step forward and be ready for the long run and not a short sprint.

She told me to Walk this way

Once you have your feet in, listen to people who have more experience. Ask questions, try to understand two things:

1) how does this communication channel work?

Whether it is Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest or any other, you need to know what features you have at your disposal and what they can do.

2) how do people use it?

Next, forget about step 1 and look at how people actually use the channel. For example, at first Twitter did not have the feature that allowed users to reply to each other. That feature came to light when the developers noticed how people use the @ sign to signify a reply to another user. Same thing happened for ReTweets, that feature was implemented to accomodate the way Twitter users used the RT

Whether you are a business or an individual, you need to learn the walk with people who actually do the walking.

Facebook is a good example of this, their Terms of Use allow you to run applications and contests on your page but people want you to share stuff about your business and to have a direct interaction with you, not to be spammed with your latest contest whether directly or via their friends. Although Facebook’s development guidelines allow you to build contests based on number of invites accepted, the users will not look at that with kind eyes.

Talk this way

Once you or your company are on the web there is one thing you should keep in mind at all time.

People like to be talked with, not talked to.

Whatever social media channel you use, there are ways for you to have a one on one or even a one-to-many conversation with anyone around the world. And yet, brands still invest most of their time and budget in campaigns and one-shot tactics instead of building long term plans of relationship building.

And this bit goes deeper than your average communication department. This is the bit where you need to get as many people as possible involved in the way you interact. Some of them will simply not care, others will be thrilled. But whichever the case you need to find ways to bridge the gap between internal and external stakeholders.

On a tactical level, this will help you set the tone of your discourse. It will show you that there is a difference between starting a tweet with “We would like to share with you” or “We would like to give you”.

Words have Values attached. The way I write a blog post for a B2B service is a million ways different than the way I write for a B2C service. Both of them may requite the same hard figures and charts, but the person on the other end is different and may even allow me to be write as if to entertain them.

So I took a big chance at the high school dance

I am a big fan of comfort zones. I love to know where my comfort zone is and where it ends so I can step out of it every once in a while and take a few chances.

This can be something as simple as starting a blog and exposing yourself to possible employers or something more dangerous like crowdsourcing obstacles that your organization is facing. Either way, it is a good idea to figure out where our boundaries are and push them every once in a while.

But lets be honest, it may go wrong and as in most things, you need a backup plan. Plot scenarios, look at case studies and keep people in the loop about what you are doing.

Over at Neville Hobson’s blog you will find a good commentary about how Starbucks handled their own social media crisis.

Be Original

This one is not on the lyrics for the song, but at its heart.

Run DMC didn’t just step out of their comfort zone, they went out and succeeded in bringing two opposites together. And one thing I learned about blogging is that you need to listen to what is being said and look how it is being done to offer a Different Perspective, otherwise you’re just another voice in the crowd. (See where I got the blog’s name from?)

Also, don’t set boundaries that are too strict.

If Aerosmith had sued Run DMC for using the song it would not have made it all the way up the charts. By allowing some creative freedom everyone came out winning.

What's on your mind?

Be the first to start the conversation.

%d bloggers like this: