Learning by example is one of the best ways to learn. Want to learn a new hobby? Search YouTube and you’re almost guaranteed to find a how-to video for whatever it is you’re looking for. Want to learn how to improve your social media presence? Just turn on the show Parks and Recreation and take notes on everything the main character, Leslie Knope, does.
Leslie is a one-woman powerhouse who doesn’t take no for an answer. This isn’t quite a how-to guide, but Leslie does cover many lessons that will improve your brand’s social media presence.
One of the main reasons for a company to be on social media is so people get to know your brand. Social media marketing isn’t necessarily meant to increase your sales (although it can help with that indirectly); it is used build brand loyalty and provide a place where customers can interact with your company.
In order for people to get to know your brand, you need to remember to be yourself, not what you think others want you to be. Every brand has a presence and voice, a personality of sorts. This personality allows customers to connect with your brand in a way that wasn’t really possible until social media came along.
In Parks and Recreation, Leslie is never afraid to let people know who she is. She proclaims her love for Pawnee in nearly episode, speaks her mind and does what she thinks is right even when it’s hard. While there are times throughout the series not everyone is especially fond of her, she always seems to win them back by truly being herself.
Except, of course, when she realizes not everyone will like her and learns to accept it. That’s an important lesson, too. Not everyone will like your brand and that’s okay.
Being consistent goes along with building credibility. Don’t create a social media account to post twice and forget about it. In fact, having an inactive account is just about as bad as not having one at all. Not putting effort into your social media account can come off as not caring for your customers. You probably already know this, but you want them to know you care about them. When you set your mind to building a presence on social media, you have to be all in.
Leslie is consistently working hard on various projects to better Pawnee. There is rarely an episode you wouldn’t describe her as an incredibly driven individual. Whether it be her initiative to decrease soda cup sizes at local eating establishments or her ultimate goal, to build a park, she never stops working until the project is finished.
Listen to feedback
Building a social media presence for your brand can feel a little like opening up to a new friend for the first time. Your brand is vulnerable; the more that people know about you, the more opinions they will form about you. When customers form favorable opinions of your brand, it will increase their loyalty. Increased brand loyalty is where social media can indirectly help to increase your sales.
However, if they form poor opinions, don’t be discouraged. Instead, utilize the negative feedback as a learning tool to better interact with your customers.
One of Leslie Knope’s infamous lines is, “What I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring loudly at me.” In the show, it isn’t uncommon for Leslie to be yelled at by the townspeople. She never seems to please everyone with any decision. But instead of looking at the feedback negatively, she puts a positive twist on it. When people care enough to give their input, whether negative or positive, it means they still care.
Remember this: while having a social media presence is important and expected in today’s society, you don’t need to stop everything else you are doing to build it. Leslie loves her work more than any other real-life person or fictional character. But, as hardworking as she is, she still knows some things come before work. Social media doesn’t have to be at the top of your list, just as long as it’s on the list.