With my nose in the books last night, I was late to find out that Mr. Steve Jobs passed away. I remember walking home in the cool, fall air thinking how sad it is to lose…well…a genius.
Though Apple is not necessarily associated with social media, I think that the brilliance of Steve Jobs gave impetus to a more connected and intelligent universe. I know that the technology that he gave us and the words he inspired us with coalesce to help us refine not only our “social” lives, but our hard-knock lives as well.
So, I’ve interrupted my series about the new Facebook changes to bring you a few of Steve Jobs’ most famous quotes and how they can help you innovate within the social media realm.
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Social strategy doesn’t have to be a Whitman classic. It doesn’t need to be the next Rembrandt. But, what it does need to be is relevant. People (or more specifically your audience), need to be able to not only understand, but to also easily engage with your brand via social media. Each element you add to your strategy adds to the snowball, so it’s important to remember what your original objective actually was. Then make sure that you’re achieving this objective with the simplest strategy and technology possible. Caution: this does not mean to avoid creativity. As Jobs states, “simple can be harder than complex.” Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most creative.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
–Stanford University commencement speech, 2005
Always, always be transparent. Be a naked brand. Wake up each morning and really think about how you can engage and connect with your audience that day. Always be your brand and that means to give up control.
“Follow your heart.” What’s the heart of your brand? What do you represent to the general public? Be this. “Stay hungry ” – Don’t ever give up or feel satisfied with the status quo. Always search for ways to trump yourself. This is where the really great social strategy originates.
Finally, “stay foolish.” Pure genius is not afraid to be different. Though you or your clients might be hesitant to try an “out there” idea, remember that no one ever changed the world without the ability to “think different.”
Thanks to Steve Jobs for inspiring and enabling a generation of us to think differently.