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Why Social Media Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Talk to the handThe hype over social media still echos, but it just doesn’t really matter anymore. Recent surveys suggest that small businesses are still slow to adopt social media and it also doesn’t matter anymore. Social media agencies, departments, and experts don’t matter anymore.

The idea behind the hype, measurement and rush to claim guru status revolved around the tools and the platforms, all of which were new, none of which really were the point.

The reason social media doesn’t matter is because, upon further review, it doesn’t exist beyond a label. While all the categorizing, classifying and departmentalizing was going on, that which was called social media simply settled into the center of marketing and business strategy and behavior. Everything that we called social media is irrelevant and mislabed – there’s a new way of doing business and marketing for sure, but it’s a behavior and focus on customer involvement that’s become a new norm – and that’s all there is to it.

We don’t need social media tools, social media plans, social media agencies, or social media departments, we need marketing strategies and tactics that are informed by a terribly heightened customer expectation. I’m not the first marketer to suggest this for sure, the idea of engagement has always been a part of the social media thread, but we aren’t moving fast enough to stamp out this idea that social media is somehow still a new and meaningful concept – now that we understand what actually happened it’s time to drop the term, concept, and confusion and focus on what really matters.

Prospect engagement matters

If we’ve learned one thing over the last year or two, it’s that prospects are drawn to the ability to interact with the companies, brands, and messages that they choose to absorb. Marketing and sales must include this desired behavior in order to even get an invitation into the prospect’s decision making world.

Customer experience matters

Traditional lead generation is dead, we’ve all accepted this by now, but what’s replaced it? If being found by prospects is the new form of lead generation awareness, then trust is the new form of lead conversion. Trust happens rapidly when customers have an experience worth talking about. A remarkable customer experience is the most effective form of lead generation

Collaboration matters

The Internet has enabled a world where we can work in conjunction with prospects, customers, suppliers, mentors, advisors, and staff in ways that make the finished work a personalized experience infused with the real time input. Community sourcing is a practice that underpins all product, service and business development activities.

Fusion matters

Another powerful lesson gained over the last few years is that offline activity is enhanced, rather than replaced, by online activity. The careful fusion of hi touch business building that’s done face to face with hi tech business building that enables more frequent, personalized contact and communication is the secret to delivering the most advanced customer experience.

Let’s stop measuring adoption of social media and go to work on simply measuring effective interaction in marketing. I suppose as much as anything this is the major thread that runs through The Referral Engine

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  • http://businessbeware.biz/ Ashley

    Great article! It's true though with small businesses. Most of them are not using social media, if they are they are just getting into it. Never forget to “go to the people.”

  • http://markkilens.com/ Mark Kilens

    Catering and providing a remarkable customer experience is definitely what all businesses should be trying to achieve. Consumers get a lot of product recommendations through their network of friends and for a business, that can be the most powerful form of marketing, not social media.

    Mark

  • http://imaginationmedia.tv Tim Danyo

    I like what you said about the new online tools have enhanced offline engagement or “hi touch” activities. I can attest to the fact that my face to face networking and relationship building has seen a boost.

    Ultimately all “social media” activities should strive to achieve some real life or tangible connection. Many times distance is a factor, but think about Skype. Where I have seen the greatest growth is in my local networks with various clubs and associations being extensions of the online world made face to face.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    yes I think so many of these new platforms were seen initially as ways to get in front of more people instead of ways to enhance communication and relationships with the real people you already knew.

  • http://trevorturnbull.com Trevor Turnbull

    At first glance, I thought I'd find an article that was trying to argue that social media has no place in business. So, first of all, great job of grabbing my attention ;-)

    I couldn't agree with you more…..it is one thing to have a social media presence, but it's a far cry from using them effectively to compliment your marketing, communications and sales strategy.

    I just posted an article on my blog about my experience with Panchero's Mexican Grill on Twitter last week. I also referenced a story that I'm sure you are familiar with (Brixx Pizza – Charlotte, NC).

    http://www.trevorturnbull.com/my-pancheros-burr

    These are two great examples of how to use social media and how NOT to use social media. Would love to hear your feedback on my blog.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Trevor – I must admit I did play with the title a bit create that kind of curiosity, but it holds true in context as well I think.

  • http://twitter.com/rnadworny Rich Nadworny

    John,
    We sometimes forget that this is about marketing, rather than the descriptive word before it. What's helpful about the term social media marketing is that it reinforces (maybe even drives home) the point of two way communication. While we've talked about this for almost 20 years now, it's the emergence of social technologies that has finally made this a reality.

    It's actually an old way of doing business, one we forgot in the age of mass communication and propaganda. So getting this into the center of business strategy and marketing is still a challenge for some, but a necessity.

    A question might be: Does describing this as “social” make it harder or easier for a company to bring this way of acting to its core? If it makes it easier, then let's keep it. If not, lets get rid of it.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Rich – I guess, perhaps not that clearly stated, that was my point, I find small business folks in particular getting put off by and confused with the term social media because it doesn't mean anything or maybe it means the wrong thing – for some it's not social or media.

    I absolutely agree little has changed in terms of engagement as a fundamental practice, but the tools have just made it easier.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Ah, but how does one do that! – I think you've got to break every possible touch point down and figure out how it impacts prospects and customers.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Actually I disagree a bit – most are using it don't know, but don't really care what it's called either. If you do a search for something and that leads you to a blog post – you're using social media I guess.

  • Lori P

    Great article, John. I couldn't agree more. Engaging customers/prospects is just another part of the overall marketing strategy. Yet one more method to add to the mix — a mix which is constantly evolving. Print, radio, TV, internet, digital content, email, blogs, twitter, etc…

  • http://twitter.com/rnadworny Rich Nadworny

    Thanks John, that makes it clearer. I didn't realize small businesses were getting put off by the term, I find most of them are obsessed with it. Maybe that's not a good thing.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    John,

    You killed it with this post. I completely agree. Saying you need a Social Media guru is like saying let's start a Newspaper Ad department… SM is a tool not a new business function. SM is popular because it puts laser beam focus on what many Marketing Strategies were missing, Customer Involvement…

    Not to pump my own stuff but I recently did a Podcast for Insurance Journal on this Called “It's No Longer An Experiment” – http://www.insurancejournal.tv/videos/3816/

    The same people who don't understand why marketing is important don't understand why SM is important…

    Thanks John good stuff.

    Ryan H.

  • http://businessbeware.biz/ Ashley

    I just mean that social media is great and I find awesome people through it and I get it but many don't. Like a lot of people we target are service businesses that majority are not on the social media hype. But social media is such a great tool to communicate with your customers and potential partners. You just never want to underestimate the power of talking with others in person and those that are use to the “old ways” of doing business. :)

  • http://www.bisimi.com seks urunleri

    really nice sharing thanks

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Ryan – totally agree about the missing ingredient – it's like saying I hate social media because it allowed all my customers to complain

  • http://markkilens.com/ Mark Kilens

    I agree that you must listen and research where and how you should be communicating with your prospects and customers. Determine what their problems and needs are and then create remarkable content around those.

    I also strongly believe that customer service needs to be working directly with marketing. Especially when it comes to creating a remarkable customers experience.

    Mark

  • http://www.c-e-p-inc.com Mark Ryan

    You forgot that the buzz surrounding Social Media has a lot to do with creating jobs. Lots of “mystery” that needs an
    “expert” to understand. Lots of new technology that is needed. Sadly, social media is being addressed in a vacuum.

  • http://twitter.com/mjayliebs Mitch Lieberman

    I know my friend Rich, who has already commented will share the hammer/nail metaphor with me, but it sounds like what matter now is Social CRM. You hit 3 crucial tenets – Engagement, Customer Experience and Collaboration – So, yes, I agree :-) It is no longer just about Marketing, it is about the Customer.

  • http://www.mcmsocialmedia.com Tim McMahon

    My Opinion: Social Media is a set of tools that make it easier for people who are already searching for your products or services to find you. Its all about Inbound Marketing – and then using these social sites to drive people from being prospects and leads to paying customers….something your website can and should still do!

    Theres a lot more to this, but thats just a quick reply!

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    No it's all about marketing – but marketing is all about the customer. I don't know if we want to sneak anymore social terms into this social CRM is just a technology enabled way to listen to the customer.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Sure, I've made money giving lots of Social Media 101 talks, blogging talks, SEO talks – I get that and don't begrudge anyone else that helped people understand the new, but it's time to move to the new new.

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Dead on. Prospect engagement – we've seen what people are asking for to let you in – they are asking for specifics in how will SM help the business and they need to see case study results before even start. They know how traditional advertising works and expected results but with social media, there is the unknown factor that is presented.

    I was recently speaking and explaining SM to accountants and about how lead gen has changed. As a service provider they do get referrals from their clients but were missing the community collaboration.

    Some small biz owners get so wrapped up in the hype of the plan and forget focus of the marketing strategy/business is and pretty much always has been the customer experience. If you focus on the customer experience and take that mindset online to build a community, I believe there will be a better understanding and also higher involvement by the small biz owners in SM.

    @SuzanneVara

  • lauraclick

    I didn't realize small businesses were being turned off by the term either. That's certainly good to know. I think a lot of companies are scratching their head trying to figure this “thing” out, when, as you both pointed out, the importance of engagement hasn't changed, only the tools have changed.

    I think too many people/businesses think that throwing together a Facebook page or Twitter account will magically grow your business. It's not a magic bullet. Like any other strategy, it takes time and effort to connect and cultivate relationships.

  • http://twitter.com/_SKG Stephen Gray

    Thought provoking John. I most assuredly agree. It is time for less talk and more action. In fact, I wrote a blog post about this last week. Here very soon, consumers will only be interested in interacting with businesses that are active in their social sphere.

    I will contest one statement you made however, in regards to applications, or “tools.” As the customer base using interactive media channels grows the need for more sophisticated tools will dramatically increase. Metrics are all important my friend.

    Best Regards,

    Steven Kent Gray

  • Paul Weber

    Excellent post. Social media technology has given consumers a 24/7 'comment card' to praise or criticize their experiences. So once again, when the hype settles, it all comes back to delivering on your promise to the customer.

  • http://www.streamsidefarm.com Cindy C.

    You mention that small businesses don't get it. I would submit that many very large companies still don't get it. Despite the rapid spread of communications and the ability to do so, many very large companies still think sending a form letter is a strong way to enact customer service. Said letter was to say “unfortunately, we can't do anything about it”. End of issue. I can't count how many people I've told never to buy that brand of appliances again. Customer service fail…regardless of their “social media” presence.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    I talk to thousands of small biz owners every week, I am a small business owner so I say that with love, but big biz really, really doesn't get it!

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    That's right Paul – these tools didn't make it easier for people to complain, they made it easier for us to hear – it's great that we all can get better from it!

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    I don't think we disagree Steven – I meant getting caught up in measuring “social media” adoption – measuring what works and doesn't from the business standpoint is fundamental to improvement – no argument on that point at all.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    I'm speaking at the national meeting of the AICPA next month on this very topic – wish me luck getting through!

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Hey Laura – turned off by even be the wrong option – tired of hearing they need get on Twitter, confused about conflicting messages, and told to chase after tactics without knowing why – might be a better way of stating the frustration.

  • http://donor.com Doug Smith

    We have a new word of mouth that spreads farther and faster than ever before. And we have new customer attitudes and expectations for interaction and openness.

    Sure, “social media” may be the conduit through which some of that interaction takes place, but I agree that it's just a means to an end and not the main event.

    It's all about meeting customers where they are and really great customer interaction wherever it takes place. That never changes.

  • http://www.starcontentwriters.com A, Khan – Content Writer

    I think companies need to decide whether or not social media is worth the time and investment. Many companies fail to realize that to get social media to really “work”, they have to be SOCIAL and actually interact. That can be difficult to do – especially for small businesses. Additionally, like you said, people want to engage with brands/companies of their choosing, which can make it difficult for smaller companies to establish a presence through sites like Twitter and Facebook. Great post!

  • http://welldonemarketing.com Ken Honeywell

    Hear, hear. This has been my problem for a long time: we've been subdividing and siloing the world, and no one has really been paying attention to what it all has to do with marketing. Calling it “social media” gives you permission to do it half-assedly and on the fly–maybe employing interns to do so, because, heck, they know how to work Facebook, right?

    Sheesh. Time to integrate “social media” into what's best for customers, not separate it from the rest of our marketing efforts.

  • http://marktamis.wordpress.com Mark Tamis

    It is about Marketing if Marketing has the Clout to coordinate actions to ensure an end-to-end experience that it satisfactory to the customer – from arousing curiosity to purchase to delivery to customer care etc.

    Social CRM is not about technology, it is about a coordinated approach to provide the bespoke experience. Marketing is but a part of the puzzle.

  • lauraclick

    Thanks for the additional explanation. This is helpful. I can definitely see that. For businesses that don't know anything about social media, I can see how they would be overwhelmed by it all without understanding why they should do it in the first place. And, for some businesses, it may not make sense for them to participate in social media at all.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Man that intern comment is so true – it reminds me of the fist web sites – nobody bothered add the company logo or colors, but it wasn't it cool!

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Good luck John but I know you captivate an audience and you always bring your A game. Me, I just have a whole lot of energy and spunk that keeps “eyes on me” and also when I told them that if they are not at the very least monitoring their name/brand, they could be missing out on some new opportunities. That pretty much got their attention.

    @SuzanneVara

  • Jared

    Example of SMM used highly effectively, this comments section. How many times did John respond to persons individually? It is communication, two-way dialogue. Good job!

  • http://twitter.com/opiniator OPINIATOR

    Agree with second part completely – disagree that social media is a comment card – its less useful. Most SM is unstructured freetext. A sort of whimsical digital regurgitation – impossible to analyse, thus use to make better business decisions. The comment card in its paper form has also had its day – better options now exist that help ensure a business provides what customers want so help prevent defection – http://www.opiniator.com for example

  • http://whatsmyspin.com Rob Metras

    Social media is another conduit that we use, as is direct mail. For small business the best and most important Social media is people talking about us, what we do,why we are their favorites and what they could discover by doing business with us. The difference with social media is another channel markets can tune in to us . I have just finished reading your Referral Book and it should be required reading for biz grads and medical,dental,legal and accounting grads as they graduate. Today they have terms like engagement, a simple method of listening to and speaking with.

  • Antonio Prohias

    I think this is the most hypocritical blog entry I have ever read.

    …”Like this post? Share it with others” via SOCIAL MEDIA
    p.s. ever heard of The Open Graph Protocol?

    no, Social Media Doesn't matter at all (Laughs)

  • thejasonsadler

    I just closed my Friendster account.. it was sad, but I trust you.

  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name lyceum1776

    John,

    And you managed to end your post with a reference to your new book! ;) Your forgot the “period” at the end of the sentence! ;) Or maybe it should be “…” as in the instruction: Go out and get the book! :) I received The Referral Engine yesterday. It was a great birthday present to myself! :) I will take a photo of the book and the invoice and send you an email, so I could receive the bonus material!

    All the Best,

    Martin

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Antonio – not sure what you find hypocritical about this post – if you read you'll conclude that I'm not saying the tools and technology we employ today are not important, I'm saying that it's all just a means to a fundamental end and that it needs to be baked into the very fiber of every activity. By labeling this and that as social media we're actually stalling that foundational approach.

    I'm actually say that social media matters so much we don't need to call it anything.

    PS – read a few more posts here and you'll learn about the OGP

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Rob – glad you liked the book and thanks.

    I think though what I'm trying to say here is that there is no definable thing we can catagorize as social media and when we do we limit this new form of behavior.

    Direct mail can use social media tactics and so can direct selling. That's the point – it just is.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Hope you enjoy the book Martin.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Not sure anything I said in this post was meant to lead you to close that account – please don't misinterpret this post as a rant against social media tools

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Thanks Jared

  • http://www.clearseo.co.uk Gareth Rees

    Quality piece, and I appreciate the irony of the title as it can fly in the face of the “social media managers” because they'll jump to defend themselves as 1000% necessary, when in actual fact all that is needed is good solid marketing and understanding of where and how best to put it in place.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Yes, it has raised a few comments from those folks, even before they read the post.

  • http://waltgoshert.com/ Walt Goshert

    Excellent post John…

    Funny, regarding social media, I sometimes feel I'm talking two different languages. Online with those in the marketing game, we throw around Twitter, Facebook, blogging as common-place. When talking with a real small business owner, I never even mention those terms. Twitter, Facebook, blogging… all the social media stuff is great. If they are the right tools, the right media mix to help the biz owner solve his/her marketing problems. Usually the problems, as you point out are much more fundamental. Typically, the business owner has an ill-defined target market, or a weak Core Message or lacks a compelling offer to move prospects to action.

    “A remarkable customer experience is the most effective form of lead generation.” Love this line. Most small biz owners agree with it, but they don't know how to put the pieces together to make it happen consistently.

  • http://businessbeware.biz/ Ashley

    I agree with you Tim. We are very involved in the social media as everyone should try and take advantage of. BUT all I was saying is there are some (mainly small businesses) that don't engage in it so don't forget to focus on them too simply because if you put all your efforts in social media, you're missing out on so many other people that don't use it as well. That was all I was saying, social media is a rockin tool to use believe me….

  • http://www.veracity.net Veracity Technologies LLC

    This is a fantastic article! I deal with small businesses who prefer a “down to earth” approach in interacting with their customers. This really expresses the sentiments they have as others approach them trying to “sell social media.”

  • http://www.businessbuilderbookclub.com Joy Johnson

    In other words, it hit the tipping point. Now it isn't something special or separate, it just is – like Google – baked into our everyday lives.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Precisely Joy

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    That's the frustration I get when I speak to groups of business owners for sure

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Thanks Walt. Wonder what would happen if we spent more attention on customer experience

  • http://www.projectauthenticity.com Robyn

    This is a great post! I absolutely agree. While I think social media media certainly provides opportunities to engage, and even research it is just one medium. I strongly believe that it works best when part of an integrated strategy. We communicate with family and friends by using a variety of mediums, voice, text, email, facebook, etc. Why can't we do the same with our markets?

  • http://thewisdomguy.com/ Hank Wasiak

    Interesting post and discussion. This was the subject of one of my presentations at the 140conference in NYC. Agree with John's pov that Social Media per se isn't the relevant discussion or opportunity. We're way beyond that now. It has changed the fundamentals of the marketing mix.

    Social Media has morphed into the fifth “P” of the marketing mix. “People”. Today a marketer must have a People Strategy developed in concert with and sometimes leading its Product, Price, Place and Promotion strategies. The addition of People as the 5th “P” creates an entirely new and exciting dimension. The Social Marketing Mix. People Strategy isn't consumer targeting. It is much broader, deeper and profound since it involves everyone that can potentially interact with and influence potential consumers. When People strategy is seen as being fundamentally as important as the other four P’s it changes the way you strategize, organize, monetize and commercialize a business.

    Hank Wasiak

    The new Social Marketing Mix is fluid, dynamic, energetic, inter-active, codependent and in constant motion. It is driven by “real time” strategy and planning infused with critical skills of observation, listening and interpreting supported by the resources to react, respect, respond and sustain dialogue.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Hank I've actually dropped the Ps as well and use my 4Cs – Content, Context, Connection and Community.

  • http://buhlerworks.com/wordpress JEBworks

    Have been advocating this for over a year now. Too much focus by the mainstream media and others has been on tactical tools like Twitter and Facebook and especially when celebrities started to show up the hype peaked to a crescendo. As you state correctly, none of this really matters. Even if Twitter falls silent tomorrow, something else will replace it as a tool.

    Without a customer centric, not only focused, sound, objective oriented marketing strategy these efforts will not produce the much touted business results. Integration has been necessary for a long time in marketing and is even more necessary today. The sooner this is understood the better.

  • http://griyamobilkita.webs.com sewa mobil

    thanks for the information….nice article

  • http://griyamobilkita.webs.com sewa mobil

    thanks for the information…nice article

  • http://www.paragraf.su/ ??????? ??????

    Most of them are not using social media, if they are they are just getting into it

  • http://www.kevin-ashcroft.com Kevin Ashcroft

    What a lot of common sense John, great to see someone with the clarity to say these things are all good but are part of a bigger picture if you want to get the most from your overall marketing.

    I posted a comment on my blog a few weeks back which related to an example of excellent customer service / care which I've raved about ever since.

    http://www.kevin-ashcroft.com/2010/04/25/when-c

    The amount of referrals I've given the business vastly outweighs the cost of what they did, however, it was great they provided unexpected service which left a huge smile on faces and more importantly the thought that it would be good to do something like this for one of my Clients – it's infectious!

    Social media is great and has it's place for sure, however, it's definitely part of the overall marketing strategy which needs to be right for your business.

    Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed the post John, great thoughts.

    Kevin

  • http://blog.artundweise.de Nicole

    A different view from a co-worker: http://bit.ly/SocialMD

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Not sure I would say this is different view, it is a different point though.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Exceeding expectations, even low ones, seems to be the secret to success.

  • http://JasonWheeler.biz/ Jason Wheeler

    Your title line really got my attention and you make some great points. However if you use social media as a doorway to create those effects you speak about you would be surprised by the leverage you can create. I'm sure you know that though :-)

  • http://twitter.com/Drwright1 Dr. Letitia Wright

    I think people had the wrong expectations of social media. I find that people, even in business want an experience. If you make it remarkable, people WILL talk about it.

    Dr. Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://www.wrightplacetv.com

  • Robert

    At the end of the day it comes down to who you know, how well you know them and what are you doing for them lately. Customers always throw around the phrase, keep it business, not personal – I disagree – I own my own business and I know how to do my business and everything I do is personal. As the baby boomers get older we're finding that we are street smart, well trained people trying to interact with stupid people hiding behind cheap business degrees that don't know what they are doing. Facebook, Twitter and Linked In are all hiding places for them.

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    It's a matter of personal taste – those that want all business will be attracted to companies that keep it that way, those that want personality will be likewise – it's a choice to find the way that you feel most authentic living in.

  • K. Matthews

    Our small business used a very popular PR firm to create a “buzz” about our new product. We ended up on hundreds of websites which unfortunately did not convert to any sales.

  • Deb Di Gregorio

    I've long said that Social Media delivers only mushy metrics and is a quick sand time sink for biz. To be legit, there are basic questions Facebook et al. must answer for marketers to be considered. http://www.camares.com/blog/basic-questions-fac

  • http://howtogetmyexbackways.com/ Get Ex Back

    well, new friend, John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing, wrote a great blog post today titled, Why Social Media Doesn't Matter Anymore

  • Eric Mulford

    This is one of the best articles I have ever read on the subject of Social Media. It isn't a presence on the Social Media sites that matters. It is marketing! A marketing strategy must include the Social Media Networks.

    Understanding the current climate (driven by the Social Media Networks) involving customer interaction, trust as an essential component in lead conversion, and an enhancement of offline activity will make you better at marketing what you do. This article reminds us of all of the essential elements of effective marketing.

    The one thing that the Social Media Networks have done for us is help us get better at interacting with others. In that way Twitter has effectively taken a non-personal medium like the internet and forced it to become very personal.

    John, thank you again for the article!

  • http://www.azautofinder.com Jonathan Painter

    Wow…another great and well written article and you raise many valid points. Stick with core business practices; competitive pricing, outstanding customer service and a solid service will bring plenty of repeat customers and referrals. Establishing social media accounts is a good way to assist search engine rankings but the time and effort required to regularly maintain them is better spent focusing on other tasks. A great way to maximize exposure via social media is to add sharing tools on your website.

  • Small Business SEO

    I tend to disagree. I think Social Media matters because, if done correctly, it allows you to connect with your customers on a somewhat deeper than surface level. I think social media – Facebook, Twitter, blogging – are crucial aspects to any online marketing campaign.

  • http://socialconnectblueprint.com Trevor Turnbull

    Hey John,

    This article inspired my upcoming webinar titled “How To Build a Fan Base 1 Burrito at a Time” (note the catchy title…but, it holds true in context as well I think :)

    http://socialconnectblueprint.com/burrito-webinar

    As I mentioned in my previous comment, there are far too many businesses that look at social media as something that you can “set and forget”. I am inspired by positive examples of brands using social media how it should be used….as a tool to engage. My personal experience with Panchero's Mexican Grill is a testament to this and I will be hosting their social media manager, Reid Travis, to talk about “the role of a social media manager”.

    Would love to get your feedback!

  • http://www.yuregininsesi.com yuregininsesi

    You forgot that the buzz surrounding Social Media has a lot to do with creating jobs. Lots of “mystery” that needs an
    “expert” to understand. Lots of new technology that is needed. Sadly, social media is being addressed in a vacuum.

  • Dr. W. D. Nicholas

    Thank you for being brave enough to put this out here. The article mentions that you are not the first to say this, but there is no denying that there is a tidal wave of advice from self proclaimed guru's who are promoting social media to almost god like status. We read more and more about how learning the “tricks” of social media will drive traffic to our websites and how these experts will let us in on their secrets – secrets that nobody else knows, but they'll give it away to us and everyone else on the internet.

    I'm not denying that social media is a good tool. But it seems to me that it is only an adjunct to any business or organization. Human relations has been, and will continue to be, the foundation of successful organizations and sales.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.socialmedia.allen Scott Allen

    Social media isn't something you do, it's a tool you use to do something.

    This was one of the essential concepts we discussed in The Virtual Handshake, and it's what has allowed the book to continue to be relevant even 5 years after publication.

    Tools change. Platforms come and go. The fundamentals of business change…not so much.

    I *do* think that the arrival of social media, along with other tools, has triggered a big shift in the way in which companies are expected to communicate with customers — not just via which tools, but a difference in content and style. But it's still marketing. It's still recruiting. It's still customer service. Maybe social media makes it a little tougher to get away with bad practices in those areas, but good skills in those areas are timeless and tool-independent.