Elementary, my dear Watson: The Sherlock Holmes methodology in social media marketing

Elementary, my dear Watson - The Sherlock Holmes methodology in social media marketing

He may be just a work of fiction, but the cultural and forensic influence of Sherlock Holmes is bigger than Big Ben itself. His eccentric personality and game-changing methods of detection has animated the imaginations of mystery-solving enthusiasts for more than a century now, continuing to relive his legacy in all forms of media including theater, television, radio, comic books, and more recently, on the big screen.

Holmes is the personification of logical thinking. His theories apply to almost anything we do in our daily lives, and they have been a yardstick for personal and social discoveries made through organizing one’s line of thought.

“I cannot live without brain-work. What else is there to live for?” he once said.

There’s no better way of understanding your audience in social media marketing than to employ the services of the great Sherlock Holmes:

1. Be scientific.
“Data! Data! Data!” he cried impatiently. “I cannot make bricks without clay.”. Social media marketing is not like talking to people in the flesh. You don’t get to see people’s reactions or listen to them express their sentiments. Mostly what you deal with are online behavioral responses – typically in the form of numbers and other statistical data. These are stuff that your audience doesn’t directly give to you; rather you have to extract them yourself. To do this, you need to have a system that can convert their responses into something that you could measure and use. It’s disreputable to assume things without the proof of data. As Sherlock once put it, “I never guess. It is a shocking habit —destructive to the logical faculty.”

2. Pay attention to small details.
‘It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.’
 Holmes can immediately tell where you’ve been or what you do for a living, without you uttering even a single word, by just looking at certain parts of your skin or clothing. Being scientific doesn’t mean you only look at the big scores. Similarly, there are things in social media behavior that don’t need to be measured just to play a significant importance, like your choice of words, the colors in your website, or the length of your blog post. You’d be surprised to know how much impact these small details could cause.

3. Observe your surroundings.
“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
 As marketers continue to scour the internet, they usually stumble upon things that they’ve never thought of putting to good use before. Sometimes they also see what other marketers are doing and they ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Every day, we see a lot of things but we never take time to find out how we can exploit them to our advantage. Sherlock clearly pointed out to Watson: “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.”