Sunday, October 5, 2014

What chickens know about social media - By David Pride

Many of you know that I am a wanna-be farmer. If you add up the various animals we cater too you would find a list that I believe would make Noah proud. Starting in the house we have one Pomeranian, one Yorkiepoo, two cats and one beta fish. As we venture to the backyard the fun begins with three chickens, a family of deer who like to hangout and eat chicken food, an occasional family of turkeys, and whatever other furry critters make their way onto our property – including the neighbors.
One of my favorite things to do when taking care of my little farm is observe my three chickens; Chicken Little, Chicken Nugget, and HENrietta. They are so funny, cute, and creative. Often times I’ll pull up a chair and let the chickens wander around the backyard while I watch them and giggle. Sometimes I feel like I can relate to all those famous pigeon tamers in NYC. While observing my chickens I’ve realized that many of the things they do that make me laugh, smile, or question their motives – can be applied to social media marketing. Below you will find a few things that my little urban farm has taught me about social media marketing.

When in doubt, pluck it out. Everyday my chickens spend a portion of their time stretching their wings, grooming themselves, flapping around, and occasionally plucking out a feather or two. I don’t know if they pluck it because it was irritating them or because they were feeling cannibalistic. All I know is that when I’m working on content for a client if I compose a tweet or status that I think is on the border of offending or giving the wrong message – I delete it. Calm down, I realize that censorship is the death of all things Internet and this statement goes against all things cool, edgy, and hip…but pissing off your audience or leaving an offensive status up just to be cool – kills sales. When in doubt, pluck it out. Come back to it later and see what you think.

Don’t be scared of the poo, it’s part of life. Recently I advised a friend on his chicken purchase and told him how much I loved having my little flock in the backyard. I told him about the eggs, the clucking, and funny things my chickens do. I assumed since chickens are wild animals he would also understand that chickens poop, pee, dig, and sometimes die. My assumption was wrong when he notified me how frustrated he was with his chickens because they poop a lot and are a lot of work! Shocker chickens poop too? Poop doesn’t seem to bother my chickens though. In fact when one of them shakes off a doo the other chickens don’t even notice. They pass on by – why? Poop happens. Don’t be scared of the crap you’re going through, it happens. Don’t be scared when Facebook changes again and when another social networks launches – it will happen and you will adapt.

When it’s raining look for worms…don’t just complain. Right now it is pouring outside and my chickens are looking for opportunities that the rain brings – worms. Everyone else is complaining that the rain is coming and my chickens are looking for opportunities. Lesson learned.

Watch for an open door at all times. To say that Chicken Little is an escape artist would be an understatement. That rascally little bird is always ready to jump ship and scurry out the coop door as soon as it opens. Often times my wife and I have to chase her around the backyard trying to convince her to get back in her run. She is always ready for opportunities and seems to have a plan. Seems like there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Give back and people will love you even more. My chickens poop, peck, bite, fight, dig, smell (sometimes), run, make noise, and disobey – but do you know what they do that makes it all worth it? They give back in the form of yummy, rich eggs that feed my family. How can you give back? At Social Impressions we give back by giving a portion of our income away every month to various nonprofits. What can you do to give back? You’ll be amazed by what you receive in return.

I hope my chicken wisdom has helped shed some light. I’ll end with one final bit of trivia:

On what side does a chicken have the most feathers? The outside.

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