Can you remember when you got your first iPod…?…What about the time when you first had a chance to even consider buying a hybrid car…? These kinds of inventions sparked a level of giddiness and commotion that you just don’t see when a company comes out with a newer version of a product – these inventions were something fresh and had a vision filled with passion behind it.
Jimi Hendrix did just that when he came onto the music scene. He was quoted once as saying, “I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice.” Jimi not only did that, he revolutionized what a person can do with a guitar and brought the music industry to an entirely new level. He was altogether transparent, authentic, a constant learner and never took himself too seriously. This is why I believe that channeling Jimi Hendrix in social media can do nothing but good things for you in social media.
The art of being transparent and authentic are essential characteristics that help you ‘keep it real’ in social media. Jimi Hendrix was nothing, if not a genuine and sincere artist, always trying to bring as much of himself as he could in his music. While it can be a tricky balancing act to temper just how ‘real’ you may want your social media presence to be (not all of us can be like Jimi Hendrix, after all), it’s safe to say that so long as you adhere to real business principles with you communications, you’ll do fine. My buddy, Beth Harte of Harte Marketing & Communications, put it quite well in a response to a comment on post she write last month: “As for the level of transparency, I think you just get a sense of that…by getting to know the person. Just like normal etiquette, you know what boundaries can be pushed and which ones can’t.”
Jimi Hendrix was always learning new things about music – taking what he could from artists like Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan and putting his own unique brand of style and mastery into his music. Like Jimi, we need to be always on the prowl for new ways to brand, create and communicate in social media. The more we learn, the more resources we have to tap into for innovation.
Stepping ‘outside of the norm’ frees you up to greater levels of creativity and imagination. Albert Einstein once said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.” Jimi Hendrix was chock full of imagination and he refused to take himself too seriously – you can see this kind of energy and enthusiasm throughout his career on live recordings and in interviews. We should all be so jazzed up about what we can do in social media – we owe it to the communities we participate in and ourselves.
Another buddy, Amber Naslund of Radian 6, puts it this way: “The truth: personal enjoyment of our interactions – either with people or with businesses – is part of the game. Yes, there’s a utility aspect in connecting with a business. But if I’m not having any fun or reaching beyond the transaction, I’m less likely to look forward to coming back again.”
Wherever you may be in your social media journey, it’s never too late to take on the verve and attitude of Jimi Hendrix into your social media brand – keepin’ it real, always growing and never afraid to laugh at yourself. It worked for Jimi Hendrix in music – could very well work for you in social media.