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Marketing & Advertising

The hard and fast rules of being a 'Top Gun' - part 1

September 21, 2011
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It’s been 25 years since the movie “Top Gun” hit theaters. Yet, it’s one of the most quoted movies of all time.

Why? Well, a few factors… it had the ability to educate, entertain and engage. The exact same qualities that every business needs to have when using social media.

“It’s just a walk in the park, Kazanky!” as Maverick explains to the other pilots.

And, it really is. Social media can be the easiest way to promote your business without all the expensive advertising we as business owners have been programmed to buy into. Consider Yellow Pages, coupons, television, newspaper and radio your targets and social media the new weapons in your fight to win the war for new customers.

Yeah, it’s a little cliché. But, it works! Some days it literally takes your breath away.

All you have to do is three simple things and it can make all the difference between standing on the deck and shoving it into overdrive: Educate, entertain and engage.

If you want to be considered the “best of the best” by your customers and even your competition you have to set the pace. Although there are no hard and fast rules to social media, those that follow the rules of engagement definitely achieve a higher status.

No need for speed

Speed is not necessarily a good thing with social media; sometimes it can lead to disaster.

Uncontrollable downward tail spins. Can you walk away or do you… crash and burn? 750 million Facebook users couldn’t be wrong, could they?

Sadly, only a small percentage of Facebook users are entrepreneurs who use the service as a means of promotion.

''It’s a target-rich environment!''

Maverick actually was referring to the women in the bar when he said that, but social media could have the same connotation. With social media, your target environment is your friends, fans and followers and their friends, fans and followers and so on.

The key is not to have your fans think you “lost that loving feeling”. A constant supply of well-fueled posts that entertain, educate and engage will always keep them feeling that you care.

Okay, enough with the Top Gun references for a bit. It was that last quote right? Too much?

Social media can be the same way. Too many posts can have your fans, followers and friends feeling confused and somewhat abused. Sure, you want to tell the world all about how you feel, your newest gizmo that you’re selling or the red convertible you just bought… but do it over time. Just like in a normal conversation, you allow the other party to respond. You share with them and allow them to share back. One-sided conversations turn people away as do too many posts in a day.

Anything you use in the offline world can be used online to educate, entertain and engage your social media followers.

As I mentioned before, the field is wide open to what you could post, but keep in mind, the majority of your followers may not share your humor, use of harsh language or have gun racks in the back of their trucks… keep it clean and follow the rules.

Rob Anspach has been in the cleaning industry for 18 years. He is an IICRC Master Textile Cleaner and the owner/operator of Premiere Carpet Cleaners in Lancaster County, PA. Rob is also a savvy marketer. He teaches businesses how to monetize their online and offline marketing experience, how to attract and retain affluent clients and how to profit from their passions. For more information, go to

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