Ask any kid who grew up in the 1980s what the greatest cartoon of all-time is and I promise you that a healthy percentage of them would tell you it was “ThunderCats.”
From 1985 to 1989, the scions of the dead planet of Thundera, lead by Lion-O, lived on Third Earth (hmmm…), developing a new society.
While the action sequences, out-of-this-world characters, and bright colors attracted so many kids to the ThunderCats, there are several parallels between the show and social media success.
1. Build Your Castle
ThunderCats: One of the first things the ThunderCats did when they landed on Third Earth was create their home — the “Cat’s Lair” — a robust building branded in their image, complete with a logo:
Social Media: Before you start engaging online, make sure your profiles are completed. Complete all the necessary sections of bios/”about us” sections and add in the right, on-brand, properly-sized images where appropriate. Include proper links and key message points., too.
2. Team Effort
ThunderCats: While Lion-O is the clear leader of the ThunderCats (I mean, he IS the Lord of the ThunderCats!), he is not alone. He has the support of a full team of talented individuals, including Panthro, Tygra, Cheetara — and even youngsters WilyKit and WilyKat! They called in other ThunderCats from time to time, as special needs arose, too.
Social Media: While a community manager may be the face of a brand on social media, there is likely a team of professionals behind them, including designers, programmers, strategists, photographers, videographers, copywriters, editors, and analysts. Social media for a brand, especially a large one, can’t be a one-person show. You must utilize skills from specialists to ensure the highest-quality, most-successful presence.
3. Use Enhanced Data
ThunderCats: Not every problem could be solved by just seeing what was in front of Lion-O. From time to time, he used the source of the ThunderCats’ power — the Eye of Thundera — to give him “sight beyond sight.” This powerful tool allowed him to see what was really happening further away — giving him the most accurate information to use in making decisions.
Social Media: Don’t just use the numbers that are staring you in the face. While likes/fans/followers are good to have, your presence should measure another level down. There are hundreds of analytics tools that give you the information you are looking for. Find the ones that measure the data you need to know in order to fine-tune your content.
4. Use Humor Apporpriately
Social Media: Grumpy Cat.
5. Choose the Right Mentor
ThunderCats: Jaga, the eldest of the ThunderCats, piloted the spaceship that brought his people to Third Earth. The ship was attacked by aliens, killing Jaga in the process. However, Jaga appears in dire times in spirit form to provide strategical guidance to Lion-O.
Social Media: Social Media may be a relatively recent trend, but the most savvy professionals have one or more mentors who help them navigate their careers, from project-related challenges to professional development. They may not be there with you every day, but they are never far away when you really need them.
6. Avoid the Trolls
ThunderCats: Not everyone appreciated the ThunderCats’ presence on Third Earth. The ancient mummy Mumm-Ra would awaken from his sarcophagus and transform into…well…a badass super-villain in order to take down everyone’s favorite anthropomorphized felines. And that transformation scared the crud out of many a kid:
Social Media: There will always be people that invest their free time in your brand. Some will be good and some will be bad. A small percentage of the bad ones will be REALLY bad — proactively hating everything you do. Unless your company is truly evil, you need to learn how to overcome their negatively to tell the positive story of your brand.
And if you ARE truly evil, I’ve got some people you should know:
Image via WikiMedia