In today’s market it’s no longer enough to just be present in social media. You have to dominate it, like the great white shark dominates the ocean. Many of the habits of this great fish, from its hunting techniques to its diet, can be applied to a strong, successful social media strategy.
1. Be a Predator
Great whites got their notoriety by fiercely going after what they want, even if it means a lot of work and some risk. When you set your social media goals, reach them any way you can. That’s the best thing about social media, you can adjust your “hunting tactics” daily depending on your goal and target audience. Don’t settle for waiting for interactions to come to you. Engage, go get them.
2. Keep Swimming
Fun Fact: If sharks stop swimming, they die. The same applies with engagement in your community. If you stop creating conversations your position in your community dies, as does your relevance. You won’t get exposure and interactions if you aren’t constantly present in your audience’s mind, so keep swimming. Keep tweeting, posting, sharing, liking, and simply saying hello to your fans and followers.
3. Adjust to New Habitats
Over the course of a year a great white shark will travel thousands of miles and live in places such as Hawaii, South Africa, Australia, Malta and Israel. They adjust to the temperature and the ecosystem of these new places so they can reproduce and survive. Social media is constantly evolving and your strategy has to as well. Don’t be afraid of that pending Flickr update or panic when Facebook changes their page format. Stay on top of trends and adjust your strategies and tactics accordingly.
4. Be Critical to Your Ecosystem
Sharks are a critical part of the ocean’s ecosystem by keeping populations controlled. Take that as literal as you want, but regardless your social media presence should be vital to your followers; make them need you by answering questions and fulfilling a want or need. Also aim to be crucial to your industry by becoming a thought leader.
5. Smell Blood
The popular legend that sharks have the ability to smell a drop of blood over a mile away may be an exaggeration (thank God) but they certainly have an incredible sense of smell. Social media specialists should use their own keen instincts to detect something worth pursuing from a ways off. If you sense something new and innovative on the horizon, go explore it, especially before other “sharks” do. If you sense a problem or potential crisis, address it swiftly.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
Once you’ve tracked down the source of the “blood” try it out. Great whites are notorious for being extremely intelligent and curious. If a great white sees something in the water it’s interested in it will go take a nibble to try it out, and by nibble I mean 300 teeth and one of the strongest jaws in the animal kingdom, obviously. If you think a new tactic or strategy will set you apart and excite your audience, go for it.
Trial and error is necessary to succeed, so try implementing a new idea and see how it does with your audience. You will never be able to grow if you don’t take risks. Use pictures, videos, infographics, top lists etc. to stay fresh and keep your audience interested and engaged. Whenever you post something, ask yourself if you would read it if it came up on your feed.
7. Know When to Let It Go (And Spit It Out)
If a particular prey puts up a good enough fight, a great white may let it go and try for something else. Yes, many things are worth exploring to some degree, but if after a decided amount of time it is not fruitful, know when to let it go. Take Myspace for example… Just no. It is no longer relevant and useful, and other platforms may reach that point eventually. Even if you have put great effort and time into developing a platform, campaign or program that was relevant last year, you may need to reevaluate it this year.
8. Spark Intrigue and Interest
Whether you think sharks are awesome or not (but why wouldn’t you?) you have to admit they spark a little bit of interest with their mysteriousness, their ominous presence, their pure predatory appearance, etc. You should aim to achieve that with your audience. You don’t have to strike fear into the hearts of your audience on a daily basis, but you should be trying to evoke emotion with your content.
9. Jump Out of the Water
Did you know that great white sharks can jump more than eight feet out of the water to catch prey. No? You’re welcome. If you feel as confident about your strategies as a great white does about that delicious juicy seal swimming above it, go after it 100% and wholeheartedly. If you don’t believe in your company and your direction, your audience won’t either.
10. Be Great
There’s a reason this article is titled “Like a Great White Shark.” There are plenty of shark species out there, and you already know there is plenty of your competition present in the social media sphere, but you need to channel the great white shark and distinguish yourself amongst your competition. Have an overall demanding presence on your audience’s timeline, newsfeed etc. and remember to do everything you do with conviction. Don’t just be a white shark, be a Great white shark.