Image of Ollie the dog

My dog Ollie is a great companion and through him I’ve learned a lot about the virtue of unconditional love. Recently I realized that the lessons he’s taught me about life can also be applied to work. Here are three social media marketing tips we can all learn from Ollie:

Don’t beg!

Ollie has learned that if he really wants to get what he wants, he won’t whine or jump for it. The quickest way to earn that extra treat is through persistence and patience. The same lesson applies to a successful social media marketing campaign – some companies use Facebook or Twitter to beg for business but that’s the wrong approach. Rather than writing posts or tweets that are overly promotional or hard-selling, try focusing on providing relevant content to your audience. By exercising persistence and patience, your audience will feel like you are more focused on their needs than your own. In the end, you will be rewarded with an extra “treat” – in this case, a sale, lead, or some other form of conversion.

Share your toys.

When I first got Ollie, he was very territorial with his food and toys. I’ve had to teach him to share and now we can have his friends over to play because he doesn’t guard his things as closely. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s important to be involved with online communities that can help you learn about new tactics and tools. Sharing your experiences with other marketers will help you be more successful with your own campaigns. Subscribing to blogs and joining groups on LinkedIn are two ways you can become more social (that’s the goal, isn’t it?) and better at sharing your “toys” – or in this case, social media tips and tricks.

Here are some of my go-tos:

Be loyal.

Innately, dogs are extremely loyal – and your social media marketing campaign should be, too. Remain loyal to your customers by providing them with content they expect from you. If you promise to be a reliable source of information for them, it’s important to follow through. If your social media channels are an extension of your customer service efforts, make sure you are responsive and helpful. If I promise Ollie a treat, you better believe he is circling my feet until I deliver. The secondary lesson here: don’t promise anything to your customers unless you are prepared to follow through.