I’m sorry. That title is a little bit confusing. Let me clarify:
Technically, it was Pegasus (another breed of magical horses altogether), not a unicorn, but since many people get them mixed up, I figured nobody would mind. Here’s why: Real-world Social Media experts do that all the time. It is called Word-switching: Using one word to describe another. (Like strategy and tactics, for example, or foot traffic and Foursquare Check-ins, or even R.O.I. and outcomes.) I used to think it was important to put a fine point on terminology, but now that I am drinking from the right Koolaid fountain, I am pretty chillaxed when it comes to terminology and unimportant things like words. See? I am learning.
Speaking of foot traffic, what I actually saw was a 305% increase in visits to the award-winning BrandBuilder blog, but following in the footsteps of McDonald’s Rick Wion (a real Social Media expert who heads the fast food giant’s Social Media program) I now consider digital visits to be the same as foot traffic. I was so wrong to call BS on that case study, it’s scary. My bad. So… a 305% increase in foot traffic. Wanna see? Look:
Obviously, it pays to listen to the experts after all. This new modus operandi suggested by my peers – (a) dropping the snark and (b) becoming more of a Social Media cheerleader than an arbiter – is paying off like, huge! This is what happens when you stop worrying about real best practices and basically call whatever comes through your head a “best practices case study.”
I mean, look at that: McDonald’s had to use $1,000 and the mighty power of Foursquare to get 719 whole check-ins across the whole United States and its 13,000 stores, right? I one-upped them by instead used unicorns (kinduv), a super positive Social Media attitude and all of 13 cents in Chiclets money to attract more than 1800 net new visits to my blog in just one day!!!
That’s like, more than twice as much as McDonald’s, and on just pennies. (I mean, really. I dug them out of the couch to buy that pack of gum at Target.) The R.O.I. of that must be like, Millions!!! I bet it’s probably some of the best R.O.I. in the history of Social Media case studies, even.
The experts know what they are talking about, obviously.
To be fair (and for the sake of transparency), I have to admit that I also used a few other Social Media tricks of the trade (so to speak) to score that win. Want to see them? Okay, here we go.
How @TheBrandBuilder used unicorns (kinduv), Foursquare, Content Strategy, Personal Branding, magical creatures, Social Media Measurement and a positive attitude to increase foot traffic by 305% overnight!!!
1. My new Unicorn (kinduv) avatar on Twitter. Bow to your Sensei:
I needed an image that would replace the old “me” with a symbol of universal peace and empathy for all living beings. I thought about Care Bears, but since bears can sometimes be carnivores, there was a chance that using a fierce predator as my new emblem might send the wrong message. My avatar strategy team and I finally settled on a My Little Pony image, as it perfectly communicates my new snark-free path of wisdom and absolute Social Media neutrality.
2. I also used Foursquare: Granted, it was when I went to the gym, but still, I used it. Chico (my Chief Social Media Research Strategist) estimates that over 13% of my readers also use Foursquare, so we can infer that our common Foursquare usage contributed to the 305% increase in foot traffic.
3. Content Strategy: My new content strategy is obviously full of win. I was soooo obviously wrong about that content strategy stuff. It works like magic. Literally. If only newspapers had a content strategy too, they wouldn’t be in so much trouble, obviously.
4. Expert Personal Branding: You noticed my pictures with John, Yoko, Gandhi and the Dalai Lama earlier this week, right? Don’t underestimate the power of being seen next to really famous people. It works. I learn from the best.
5. Magical creatures: I know, using magical creatures is pretty old school, but it totally works! You saw the numbers, right? Right. Unicorns (kinduv), pixies, flying horses and faeries are excellent allies when it comes to generating foot traffic with Social Media. (Be careful with ligers though. They don’t always cooperate.) What’s your magical creature strategy?
6. Really solid measurement: Although the term foot traffic is completely subjective now, you can’t argue with the fact that it is the holy grail of googlitic analysis, especially when it is digital. Good thing we aren’t sticklers for terminology anymore. This is so much easier than when I actually bothered to differentiate between bad measurement and good measurement. Now that it’s all good, it all works. It’s just science.
7. A 100% snark-free, positive attitude: This is key. Once you start accepting that no one is wrong, that there are no bad practices, that words, proper measurement, carefully crafted methodologies and even ethics are completely irrelevant, you can start focusing on two super positive things: (a) Making sure your content is awesome, and (b) saying whatever you want, because accuracy is just, you know, so 2008.
8. Zero focus on R.O.I. Instead, I focused my heart center on content strategy and authentic engagement, since they are the heart and soul of this space. Foot traffic (even the digital kind) is love, and love is how you really measure success in the world of Social Media.
9. Referring to The BrandBuilder Blog as “award-winning” even though it hasn’t actually ever won any awards: Pffft. Details. Nobody fact-checks anymore. Not even me. Facts are so trivial anyway, right?
10. Learning from real Social Media gurus: Look at how many followers some of them have. Wow!!! Surely, they must know what they are talking about. And you know, they work with the world’s biggest brands, so they know this stuff. As it turns out, it pays to shut up, stop asking inconvenient questions, and do exactly what they tell you to do. (Who knew!) These numbers don’t lie. You just can’t argue with the data. I was so wrong not to do this sooner.
I am so glad I listened to the real experts and stopped pointing out so-called “bad practices.” And to think I was such a pain, wasting so much time focusing on pointing out the difference between solid practices and deceptive practices. No need for that, obviously. This is so much better.