4 Social Media Lessons For Small Businesses From Breaking Bad

    By Gabe Arce | Small Business

    4 Social Media Lessons For Small Businesses From Breaking Bad image breaking bad 1.jpgbreaking badIf you are reading this, chances are that you familiar with the hit television series, Breaking Bad. You might even be one of the 10.3 million viewers that tuned in for the series finale.

    Although many of us have tentatively followed Walter White‘s crazy journey from high school chemistry teacher to Blue Meth drug lord, many of us would not condone the manufacturing of an illicit narcotic.

    That being said, there is no reason why we can’t learn a thing or two from the illustrious villain, Walter White…

    1. Pick the most suitable platform(s)

    Realizing the value (and the demand) behind creating a highly pure product, Walter White moved his operations from a raggedy trailer stocked with a high school chemistry set to an underground warehouse retrofitted with an industrial laboratory. Why? Because it was necessary to find a new base that would allow him to generate the most value for his time and resources. Time is money after all, is it not?

    Small businesses must do the same. In order to understand where to focus one’s time and efforts, you must identify which social marketing platforms to leverage. After all, these social media networks provide the basic technology that will define the interactions with our audience.

    Things to consider when exploring different social media networks: :

    • Which social media network(s) is my target audience using?
    • Are these platforms receptive to the content that I can effectively produce?
    • What are the limitations of the most popular platforms among my target audience?

    If you are very new to social media marketing, stick to the most suitable social network. If you are a marketing pro, you probably manage profiles across multiple platforms. Either way, never forget to consistently…

    2. Experiment and optimize your formula

    Throughout all 5 seasons, we would see Walter redefine his formula again and again in response to setbacks, low stock, unexpected conditions, or even just bad luck.

    4 Social Media Lessons For Small Businesses From Breaking Bad image simplymeasured chart.pngsimplymeasured statistics

    All social media marketing strategies are susceptible to external conditions. A marketing strategy needs to be continually refined, tested, and optimized in response to possible changing conditions. Whether there is a shift in key demographics, the Facebook EdgeRank formula, or even shifting consumer tastes, successful digital marketing must be agile and flexible.

    Keep in mind that the tactics and content that effectively engages your audience during the holiday season might not be the same come spring time.

    Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!

    Here are a few things to keep in mind for when you are in social media, mad-scientist mode:

    • Discover when your fans/followers are most active by varying the frequency and timing of your posts
    • Identify what kind of content produces the best engagement by varying the type of content that is shared (i.e. videos, images, text-only, gifs)
    • Explore different social media platforms; your followers will be more than likely be on multiple platforms (some could barely be emerging)

    Have fun with all this experimentation… at the end of the day though, never forget to analyze the results. Some of the social media analytics tools that I use come from SimplyMeasured. Have you seen their PDF and Excel reports?! Talk about money!

    3. Select the proper Power Tools

    4 Social Media Lessons For Small Businesses From Breaking Bad image los pollos hermanos logo.jpglos pollos hermanos

    Once you get the hang of things and have a grasp of your audience, content, and strategy, you will eventually need to upgrade your arsenal of tools. Even Walter abandons his rickety RV and moves into a state-of-the-art facility, arguably one of the few perks of partnering up with Gustavo “Gus” Fring (owner of Los Pollos Hermanos).

    You can only do so much directly on one platform. Soon you will need Power Tools! Not only will social media tools help you be more effective in engaging your audience, these tools will almost always save a boat-load of time.

    Just keep in mind that not all social media tools are created equal nor will they always serve the same purposes. Among them are:

    • Multi-Account/Multi-Platform Managers
    • Monitoring tools
    • Publishers
    • Facebook applications
    • Ad networks, etc.

    Want to have your mind blown? Just check out this infographic! So. Many. Tools.

    4 Social Media Lessons For Small Businesses From Breaking Bad image social tools infographic.pngsocial media infographic

    4. Watch & listen for opportunity…and competition

    Season to season, we would see Walter White go against competitor after competitor, imitator after imitator. And again and again, against all odds, he overcomes his foes and takes advantage of opportunities that were initially invisible.

    Small business must strive to do the same (figuratively speaking, of course), especially when going against Goliaths. Use social media to find opportunities such as:

    • Customer service complaints against competitors
    • New expressed needs from your customer base
    • Industry news and chatter

    And always have a watchful eye on the competition by:

    • Following executives at rival firms and industry leaders
    • Watching for new social media tactics against you
    • Listening for negative conversations involving your firm

    Don’t be surprised when competitors attempt to mirror your social media “formula” and try to use it for themselves. Success in social media marketing never goes unnoticed. And as we know, imitation is highest of flattery.

    That being said, always observe and learn from what successful firms are doing. Haven’t you ever wondered how successful brands like Redbull do it? Break down their strategy and use it to your advantage!

    Social media provides many roads to success and new business… be smart and tread lightly.

    Image credits: [1], [2], [3]



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