I've been thinking a lot recently about fundamental business principles. In particular, I've been thinking a lot about business principles that are proven and time-tested but aren't being implemented in a social media context.
As I've sat back and drilled down some of these topics of interest, I've settled on one tactic that every business is missing in social media. It's a tactic that's been used by YouTubers for almost a decade with phenomenal results!
The tactic is partnerships.
If you're unfamiliar with how YouTubers rose to success, fame and notoriety, it was a result of two primary factors.
1. They were early adopters
2. They partner with other YouTubers
There's obviously other factors involved such as entertaining content as well as consistency. All that aside, partnerships is one enormous thing to hone in on, as it's the biggest factor that's allowed some of the most prominent YouTubers to gain and maintain new audiences and subscribers.
It's a commonly-known fact that leveraging what someone else has for your benefit is a proven tactic in business, ie: networking, social networking, joint ventures, investing (OPM), etc.
In 2015, if you want to take your social media following to the next level across all platforms, you need to identify non-competing brands in your space that you can partner with. These other individual's and/or business brands should have a social following that's similar in size to yours. That way you are both on a level playing field and can offer equal value to one another.
As you establish partnerships, you should each appear in some of each other's social media content.
As an example, let's say Warby Parker decided to partner with Levi's. They would each (on occasion, not all the time) take product photos featuring both products together.
A brand mention to further promote the partner brand would be called out in the description of the post. It would go a little something like this:
Here's how to rock a fresh pair of @Levis classic 501 Jeans with @WarbyParker Shades.
This is perfect content for all image-oriented social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
Here's the beautiful thing, Warby Parker and Levi's wouldn't have to limit themselves to just partnering with each other. They could easily assemble a list of dozens or even hundreds of other non-competing lifestyle brands to partner with for social media content as well.
In social media, I've worked with brands who have spent tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars on product placement marketing. Isn't this rather silly when you consider that:
- The consumer can smell this B.S. marketing ploy a mile away
- It's not authentic and the consumer knows it
- It's expensive as f**k!
- Its' not shareable (when seen on a TV show, movie or offline placement)
- After it's seen it can't be captured and re-marketed
Here's Why Partnerships Work:
- It allows you to organically grow your social following
- It allows you to increase brand affinity through positive association with other prominent brands
- It acts as a traffic generator allowing you consistent traffic back to your social channels (via @ mentions)
- It keeps your brand cool and relevant
- It allows you to attract new audiences
- It's authentic
- It's FREE!
- Did I mention... It's FREE!
One thing I'm just sick and tired of seeing is businesses and individuals who are taking on the world alone. This doesn't work and it's the antithesis of how the Internet was born and social media in particular.
The Internet and subsequently social media was born out of a desire for humans to connect and collaborate with one another, whether it's adding content to someone's website by commenting on their blog, commenting on social media content, snapping a selfie with friends, or creating YouTube videos together.
The Internet is about partnerships. PERIOD.
Now go steal this idea and get to work! This one's on the house. The next time I'm charging!
If you liked this idea, tweet me to let me know.
Michael Price is an entrepreneur, digital media marketer and author of What Next? The Millennial's Guide To Surviving and Thriving in the Real World, endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC's Shark Tank.