Last night I was at the cinema and saw the trailer for the 7th Harry Potter film, the first part of which is released next week. Which got me thinking . . . being a social media marketeer is a lot like being Harry Potter . . . here’s 7 reasons why.
1. Be Different
Harry Potter has a scar. It marks him out immediately as being different. There is no hiding it.
As social media marketeers we need to be different. We need to make ourselves stand out from the pack. Trying new ideas and seeing what works. If we look like everyone else, we are never going to stand out. Sure we might fail sometimes, but what if we succeed? Aren’t the successes worth being different for?
Harry listens to Dumbledore’s advice and wisdom at every turn and learns from him.
We need to listen to our customers and value what they tell us, their perspective is completely different to ours and we can learn a lot from them.
3. Follow Your Heart
Harry is friends with a half giant (Hagrid), a muggle born (Hermione), a blood traitor (Ron) and a werewolf (Lupin) among others. The ‘pure bloods’ don’t feel this is the type of company a wizard should keep. But Harry doesn’t care. He follows his heart which tells him these are good people worth knowing, and these people become his family; without them he would never survive through all the trials and difficulties that are sent his way.
Traditional marketeers who are stuck in the old, ‘pure’ ways of marketing don’t want us to follow our hearts or keep company with anything that is different. They like their old ‘pure’ friends of traditional advertising, direct mail and cold calling. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube . . . what are these strange creatures? Yes, they are different. But they can give us so much more to survive in the current world than the old, ‘pure’ ways can. We need to follow our instincts and our hearts.
4. Value Your Friends
Harry values his friends above all others and would do anything to save them and protect them from harm – he makes many sacrifices for them, even ending his relationship with Ginny in an effort to keep her safe.
We need to value our customers above everything else. We need to engage with them, listen to them and make them feel valued. Sometimes we need to make sacrifices for them, but we have to do it, because without them we would have nothing.
5. Break The Rules
He may be the hero of the tale, but that doesn’t mean he always follows the rules; from smuggling illegal dragons, rescuing fugitives and breaking into a bank – Harry knows that sometimes you have to break the rules to get the job done.
And sometimes we need to break the rules as well. The old marketing rules don’t work any more. They need to be broken and new ways found to succeed.
6. Don’t Be Afraid
Harry faces many terrifying things, not least of which the force that is Voldemort. He walks towards danger time and again showing a fearlessness to be admired.
We can’t be so afraid of failure that we don’t try. We need to overcome our fears and branch out and try new things – maybe it’s incorporating video into your customer newsletter, maybe it’s interacting with your customers on Twitter. If we’re so afraid of negative feedback that we don’t try new things we will flounder and stagnante. If we face our fears and walk forward we could achieve something great.
7. Hard Work
Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy – Albus Dumbledore
Wise words from the Hogwarts headmaster himself. We know what the right choices are to get the most out of social media, they are not necessarily the easy choices, they take time and hard work, but if we want to succeed we know what we need to do.
Social Media is not magic. Harry gets to where he is in the end, mostly through hard graft, listening to his friends and letting them help him . . . not by waving his wand.