Achieving social media happiness

I’ve read so much about social media lately that I’m reading social media into everything I read. While exploring SlideShare (another social media content sharing tool), I ran across “Delivering Happiness,” a PowerPoint presentation by Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh.
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Hsieh provides insight into Zappos’ business model (for selling nearly a billion dollars worth of shoes a year), which is intrinsically tied to delivering and pursuing happiness—for its customers and employees.

Featured in the presentation are Zappos’ core values, which promote this scheme for achieving happiness. And while I have zero experience running a company, I do know that applying Zappos’ values to your social media program will help lead your organization to greater online marketing happiness.

Here are Zappos’ core values for your social media marketing:

  • Deliver through service. How can you serve your social media audience? Post regular, valuable content updates. Write thoughtful replies to comments and messages. Listen to your community’s ideas, and act on them.
  • Embrace and drive change. Lead the way with social media. Explore new tactics. Social media experts acknowledge that the rules of the social media pool haven’t been established. Make your own rules, and find what works for your organization.
  • Create fun and a little weirdness. This isn’t a problem at Wax (the entire staff is a little wonky). Take a cue from your favorite viral videos and websites: weirdness, fun and hilarity prevail.
  • Be adventurous, creative and open-minded. Using a new marketing medium is the perfect opportunity to brainstorm and explore new messages.
  • Pursue growth and learning. Social media is all about sharing valuable content; share what you know freely and join online communities that engage in intelligent conversations.
  • Build open and honest relationships with communication. This is a given.
  • Build a positive team and family spirit. Consider bringing more staff members into the social media marketing mix to produce blog posts, tweets, videos, webinars, etc. Make your online community stronger by engaging your immediate office community in social media.
  • Do more with less. Ration your time and money for the social media platforms that your audience is plugged into. You don’t have to belong to 15 bookmarking sites or every social network to have a meaningful presence.
  • Be passionate and determined. Social media can consume you. All of the information swirling around it can overwhelm you. Don’t let it. Believe in the community you’re creating and build it.
  • Be humble. No one is the social media master right now. Accept that some of your efforts will fail (or at least fall flat). Measure, evaluate and move on. The truly humble will share their failures to benefit the rest of the community.

One last—if not the most important—tidbit from Hsieh: Build relationships. Don’t network.

Don’t be the sleazy guy at the social media party who’s handing out business cards and making small talk. Start a meaningful conversation that others will flock to—people won’t need your business card; they’ll know where to find you.

– Caroline Hatchett

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