Do you remember high school? If so, you probably remember the ‘it’ girl. She was the girl that every guy wanted to date and that every girl wanted to be. While high school maybe over, we are still chasing the popular girl at school. In the business world, being the ‘popular girl’ comes with the same perks as being in high school. People still open doors for you and asking for help on ‘homework’ is still easy. While not everyone will like you, in one way or another, most will either want to be you or be associated with you. As a business, one should ask themselves if they are the ‘popular girl’ or if they are the ones chasing then.
Meet The ‘Popular Girls’ At School
In each ‘school’ or market their is a different ‘it’ girl. In the entertainment industry for example, one could argue that Disney is ‘it,’ and when it comes to information and technology that Google is at the head of the class. While their are plenty of businesses that feel that they deserve a piece of the pie, what it comes down to is who is sitting at the head of the table.
As a ‘popular girl’ one of the most important things is protecting their interests. If a new girl shows up at school and they are deemed a threat to the popularity of the ‘it’ girl, one of two things could happen. The first is to bring them into their own group which would allow them to shape their popularity, and the second would be to push them out of the picture. While these options may seem unreasonable and rash, the same tactics are being used by large corporations all the time. When a company sees a competitor enter the market that directly challenges their business they will take measures to protect themselves. Take for example the deal in 2005 that saw Disney buy Pixar for an incredible 7.4 billion dollars. While many may scoff at the price tag that Disney had to pay, Disney realized that by acquiring Pixar they were not only locking up all the creative talents of Pixar, but they were also preventing others from gaining from them.
Making Enemies Is Part Of The Game
Just like Chess and Jenga, the business world can also be thought of one giant game. Each move made will either bring you closer to victory or defeat. While companies like Microsoft and Apple may be considered to be the ‘popular girls’ of the business world, that doesn’t meant that they haven’t made enemies along the way.
Be it directly or indirectly, each step that the company takes means someones gain and someones loss. Although no one likes making enemies it is a fact that can’t be avoided. What makes it worth it is the rewards that come with being popular.
Using Social Media To Become Popular The Right Way
From tying your shoes to driving a car, someone always has an opinion on which is the right way and the wrong way. When it comes to becoming popular, people will give you a million different ways on how to accomplish this, but none can guarantee you it’ll work. Still, their are things that people will agree on as far as what the wrong way is.
Thanks to social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, everything we say and hear is shared with the world. Because sites like these are such powerful public relations tools, it is important that businesses, and personalities alike learn to not only use them effectively, but also responsibly.
A great example of a large company that is using social media the right way to increase their popularity is Whole Foods. While they are not the only ones, at just over 1.3 million followers on Twitter, Whole Foods was one of the first corporations to embrace social media and use it not only as a community building tool, but as a way to expose themselves to the world.
If you heard that the popular girl didn’t use Facebook, YouTube or Twitter would she still be the popular girl? Probably not. Part of what makes her the popular girl is that she is someone that reflects what is trendy and ‘in.’ Because social media platforms are becoming such a large part in the way we interact with others, in the business world, part of being on top means being able to understand how to use them along with what peoples perceptions are of you as well as how to deal with your community.
The Power Of The Popular Girl
Imagine that you are software development company and all of a sudden Apple decides that they want to be ‘friends’ with you. Aside from feelings of happiness and disbelief, you will also feel lucky. How often is it that a company like Apple will decide to be friends with you? From your friendship, the opportunities are limitless. From the possibility of creating new applications for their operating systems to the new network connections that you will be able to get, being friends with the ‘popular girl’ has its perks.
For most businesses and entrepreneurs, having the chance to work and be friends with the ‘popular girl’ is a dream. The popular girl can take an idea that would take many years to develop and market and do it in half the time.
Always remember: doors open a lot easier when you have the ‘popular girl’ on your side.
Photo by Cynthia Lou