Effective Social Media: Shouting or Listening?

One of the things I struggle with at times with clients or potential clients is explaining the idea of effective social media versus that social media called “spam” to everyone else.  There is always a fine line between what some consider spam, sort of the “black hat social media”, and what others consider effective marketing, advertising and PR. 

iStock_000006243858XSmall Many times clients will sign on for a social media campaign that we have discussed.  We helped them come up with a good, workable strategy. When things kick off on Monday, I get that dreaded email on Friday asking why their bank account is not bulging with money and their account managers are not going crazy with orders. Social Media is not a get rich quick scheme.  Those that tell you to expect immediate results are not going to be there at the end of the month when the check clears.

Social Media is not a get rich quick scheme.

Many have asked that I begin right away shouting at their customers.  They along with everyone else in their genre are on their soapbox shouting at the top of their lungs asking everyone to find them and to buy from them. I liken this to what it must be like on the floor at Wall Street when everyone is screaming “sell!”  Or it could just be what it is like at the dinner table at my house when I ask about what everyone wants for dessert.  Meanwhile, the customer is having a nice conversation with a friend somewhere over a cup of coffee.  None of the customers are in that forest hearing that tree fall.  The irony is, the customer is talking to that person at the table over coffee about what they want. Your product or service.  Who are they talking to?  I could be your competition–doing it the right way. The competition that is taking a moment to listen to what they, your customers, have to say. iStock_000004322282XSmall

Listening is always one of the best ways to get involved with a group or to make friends or to get information about what people want to talk about.  When I head to a networking event or when I participate at a cocktail party, after I have taken a moment to introduce myself, I take a moment and listen to what the conversation is and find a way to contribute.  I hate using this cliche, but it is still very relevant today as it relates to the use of social media and how you as a business use it for marketing, advertising and PR.

The social media we practice here at One By One Media is about participation.  Not immediate, in your face, car salesman social media, but the participation after invitation.  We don’t want to be the person that nobody invites to the party because they are overbearing and they cannot two sentences without talking about themselves.  We want to be that person that is on every “must have attend” list.  The way to get invited is to be a listener.

It takes a while to be one of the cool kids.  I know, I am still trying to be part of the cool kids at the party, and I helped design the INVITATIONS!  If you are one that thinks social media is about screaming your message until someone finally hears, I have some kids here you can play with, but if you are across the table ordering another cup of coffee, welcome to the party, how can we help you?


  1. You are 100% right about Social Media not being a get rich quick scheme. Its all about the connections and exposure you get from Social Media. Good insights. Cheers.

  2. Absolutely correct, Jim. Good business is about making connections, and social media is ALL ABOUT the connections. “In your face” promotions and a barrage of intrusive ads and emails are pretty much nothing more than actual spam. People hate spam, and people despise spammers. Nobody wants his/her business to be associated with such tactics. Well, except the actual spammers, I guess. True businesspeople want their business to be discussed and mentioned and noticed and linked and met with positive vibes, not reacted to with exasperation and disgust and immediately deleted. Word of mouth is always the best advertisement, and social media is just that: a great, big, international word-of-mouth campaign. The biggest cocktail party in the world!

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