Six Social Media Lessons from Samuel L. Jackson
By Derek Brown & Melissa Skabich
On the surface, many of the iconic quotes from actor Samuel L. Jackson have nothing to do with social media, but if you take a deeper look into some of Mr. Jackson’s famous one-liners, you’ll find words of wisdom that apply to companies that are well established or just getting their feet wet in the social space. All too often companies commit the ultimate social media sin: simply focusing their efforts on “how many followers we can get,” instead of “how can we continually engage our audience in a meaningful way that helps to grow our business?”
Let’s take a closer look at some important social media lessons, Samuel L. Jackson style.
“A dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.” (Pulp Fiction)
The Lesson: Be human, find your voice, and care about your audience. People want to engage with companies that create a distinct identity in social media and talk to them, not at them. Listen and respond to your followers in a timely manner, and don’t be afraid to post content that humanizes your brand. Did your office manager have a new baby? Is your company going on a team-building outing? Share those events with your audience.
"Just 'cause you pour syrup on something doesn't make it pancakes!" (Juice)
The Lesson: Your audience is savvy, and social media is rampant with clutter, so don’t bombard them with an endless stream of self-promotion. Provide something of value and give your audience a reason to follow you. Keep them engaged by rewarding their loyalty and encouraging conversations. Think about what’s important to your audience, not just to you, when determining what you post.
“You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?” (Pulp Fiction)
The Lesson: Surprise and delight your audience by asking unexpected questions. Give your audience a reason to respond and teach them something that may be outside of what you normally talk about.
“Mama, I smoked the color TV.” (Jungle Fever)
The Lesson: Don’t blow your budget on strategies that won’t get you anywhere, and be realistic about how you measure success. Sure, iconic brands like Coke and Nike have millions of followers, but in reality it’s the small, engaged audience of brand advocates will spread your message to your key stakeholders.
“Enough is enough! I have had it with these m@#$%n' snakes on this m#@$%in' plane!” (Snakes on a Plane)
The Lesson: Don’t lose your cool in the social space because if you do, the potential is high for a small issue to snowball into a major crisis. If you find yourself with unhappy followers, respond quickly, and always remain professional and courteous. Whenever possible, take the conversation offline. The ultimate goal is to convert a detractor into an advocate, and you’d be surprised how far common courtesy goes in these situations.
"I never did one thing right in my life, you know that? Not one. That takes skill." (The Long Kiss Goodnight)
The Lesson: It’s much easier to do the right thing. Too many companies think that social media is all about them, when it’s really about their audience. By creating compelling content that sparks engagement with your audience, a smart marketer will never look back on their strategy with regret.