It isn’t what you’re saying on social media that has the biggest effect on your business. It’s what others are saying about you that makes the true impact.

I’ve used those words in various forms since 2008. It’s become a cliche in my own mind because I have to say it so often; many businesses we talk to haven’t gained that understanding by the time we have our consultation even today in 2013. It’s not their fault. The social media marketing industry is challenged with laziness in many ways. Building brand ambassadors is hard work so many “gurus” prefer to stick with what they can do easily, namely posting random things and pushing for likes, retweets, +1s, repins, and other components of social media promotions that are useful but that aren’t as important as they lead their clients to believe.

There are three truths that need to be understood about social media marketing:

  • It’s a communication tool more than it’s a broadcasting tool.
  • Getting others to talk about your business in a positive manner is the most powerful thing that can happen to influence your business through social media.
  • It isn’t as hard as most think but it takes more effort than most are willing to allocate.

The easy road is to post interesting or entertaining images, text, video, or links. The more fulfilling road is to play outside of your own profiles, to make your social profiles a conduit rather than a hub, and to do the things that encourage the customers or clients who love your products, services, or ways of doing business to advocate for you online.

It’s about building ambassadors, and as inhumane as this may sound, you should be building a brand ambassador factory. Sounds creepy. Almost makes it seem like an allusion to Soylent Green. Thankfully, we don’t have to turn our customers into feed in order to make this work. We simply have to make them happy and give them the opportunities and prompting to tell the world that they love you.

The processes to do this differ from business to business. There are too many moving parts from one industry to another and from one store to another within the same industry to be able to post a roadmap or guide that would do justice to the topic, but over the next week I will be posting articles that give some general concepts to help you develop your own plan. The best way to stay on top of this (there will be much more written on this specific topic) and other social media marketing concepts is to subscribe to Soshable by Email.

More to come on this important topic very soon…

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  1. Great article. It really is fascinating how so many brands are still taking the word “media” in “social media” as a prompt to push content like we did in the past for traditional media. Companies need to remember that social media should be seen as a revamped “word-of-mouth” tactic where happy consumers who spread the word about your product/service is the most effective–and results may not be immediate (one of the causes for laziness). But if social media is utilized correctly, to build relationships and ensure that consumers are happy, then customers will stay loyal and will spread the love. The extra effort and creativity certainly does pay off for long-term customer retention. Totally looking forward to your other articles on the subject.

  2. Jaclyn Webster

    I agree with this article and I think this is something that so many companies forget. Making customers happy should be every brands number 1 priority, because at the end of the day, your reputation and the way that your customers feel about your brand is the only thing that matters. If you make your customers happy, they are more willing to spread the word about how they feel about your brand and more willing to promote your brand or company without you insisting on them doing so. I think this is something all brands or companies need to remember and be reminded of daily.

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