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Archive for June, 2013

Everything I Know About Social Media I Learned From Sesame Street

A common question asked is where did you learn everything you know about social media?

The answer to that is surprising to many. Everything I know about social media was learned from spending time with great friends like Ernie, Oscar, Bert, Elmo and others. That’s right…all we need to know was taught to us from our friends that live on Sesame Street.

When Sesame Street was being created their goal was to build a children’s television show that would “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them.” How about helping us master the now addictive qualities of social media? By following the same lessons as the show, you will be able to do something good with everyone’s social media addictions.

With a show that is broadcast in over 140 countries and has won over 140 Emmy Awards you have to figure they have done something right. A survey shows that 95% of all American preschoolers had watched Sesame Street by the time they were three years old. Now that is a large following!
sesame-street-sign

If they can have a following and growth like that, so can you if you follow their lessons.

What are those lessons?big bird

  1. Give Value (then ask for money)
    That’s right you have to give to get. You don’t see commercials when watching Sesame Street like you do on every other television program. You get value, you get lessons, you get fun and then when it is time, you are asked to donate to keep the show running.
    Do the same thing in your social media world. Give value, offer some lessons and share the fun. Then when you have the relationship built and the time is right you will be allowed to market and ask for money (or sales of your product, or whatever)
  2. Play Nice With Others
    People and monsters all work together in the world of Sesame Street. Any disagreement is quickly resolved and forgiven and usually came from a simple misunderstanding.
    Work with others in the social world. Don’t bash, don’t argue, and if you disagree that is ok, just don’t hold grudges and move on for future growth.
    Remember if there is someone you just can’t play nice with, you can unfriend them, block them or stop engaging with their business page.
  3. Use Humor
    One of the things that made Sesame Street fun and easy to follow is that the laughs continue throughout the program. Have you ever watched a child sit and stare and laugh at the silly monsters, funny things that happen and of course the bright colors.
    Make sure your social media voice is one that has humor in it. We are not looking for knock knock jokes or anything like that. Just make sure to share funny things (other than cat photos) that you see, that you hear and that happen to you. We all walk into a wall while texting, get in the wrong car in the parking lot or fall up an escalator. Let others laugh with you and they will engage much more.
  4. Share
    If there is any lesson that I still remember from Sesame Street from years ago it is to share. Share with your friends, share with people you just meet and everything is better. Amazingly there is always more when we share instead of keeping it all to ourselves.
    Share other people’s information. Did someone share a posting that you found interesting? Share it. Did you read someone’s blog or an article that was worth sharing (like this one hopefully) then share it! By sharing information you will increase a relationship with more people, create more opportunities in your life and get more people sharing with you.
  5. We All Have Short Attention Spans
    Bright colored monsters moving quickly around the screen. Fun songs to sing and dance to. Interaction and engagement by having the viewing children talk to the people and answer the simple questions. All of these techniques kept children focused and sitting at the tv for long period of times. Some people found this a bad influence and some, mostly parents, found this a wonderful blessing of a few moments to get other tasks done.
    The short attention span is even more of a challenge now with the internet always blinking, changing and offering us instant gratification. How do we combat that? By using information that is a valuable lesson, that is fun and that makes us want to engage and interact. Keep that in mind as you create your tweets, postings and updates. Know that we aren’t staying long unless the content is good.Speaking of short attention span…are you still here? Hopefully the images and the strong content kept you engaged!

Everything I know about social media I learned from Sesame Street and if you think about it, so did you. Sesame Street has been running and a success for over 43 years and with these lessons your social media success should have a long shelf life as well.

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Bert and Ernie

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