Attacking the Myths of Social Media: An Interview With Jason Falls

social media book reviewsI recently met with Jason Falls, the founder of Social Media Explorer and co-author of the hot new book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Jason co-authored this great new book with Erik Deckers).

Jason also has a past with Social Media Examiner. He was one of our founding contributors.

Mike: Some might think the title of your book is a little edgy for the business world. Share how you came up with it and what you are setting out to accomplish with this new book.

jason falls

@JasonFalls

Jason: Well, when Erik and I sat down last December and started talking about the concept for the book, I was really dead set and determined that we needed to write the “No Bullshit” guide to social media marketing.

The reason that I came up with that concept is that over the past few years, as I was giving talks around the country about social media, I’ve always tried to be very simple and plainspoken in how I explained social media, social media marketing and technology to people.

I’ve also tried to be very sensitive to the fact that businesspeople don’t have time to mess around on social networks. They need to know: “How do I get in? How do I set it up? How do I start using it so that it shows me some results?”, because they’re trying to run their businesses. If we as social media consultants and practitioners and advisors say, “We just want you to experiment and play for six months,” nobody is going to give us the time of day.

I’ve always had that sort of no-nonsense attitude. I would come offstage from talking at conferences and whatnot and people would say, “I really appreciate the fact that you’ve got a really no-bullshit style—that you just get right to the point and tell it how it is and don’t make any apologies for it.” So I listened to my audience. They said, “You’re the no-bullshit guy,” so that’s how the title of the book came about.

no bullshitMike: Let’s talk a little bit about the implication of the title, which is that there’s a lot of crap—misinformation—out there. Maybe you can share a little about why you felt the need to cut straight to the problem that’s going on right now with social media.

Jason: I guess we should take a step back a little bit. We’re calling “bullshit” on what I call the “social media purists” who have been preaching at us for however long this industry has been an industry.

They’ve been preaching to us that social media is all about joining the conversation, it’s all about engaging with your customers, it’s all about listening first and it’s all about providing value to your audience.

Now, this is where we need to draw a very firm line. Erik and I agree with all of those points and pieces of advice. I consider myself to be a social media purist in line with that philosophical thinking. And I have said those things before, and Erik has too, and we believe in them.

But that’s where the social media purists stop. And if you add the word “marketing” to the phrase “social media,” you’re talking about business. You’re talking about making money. You’re talking about driving business. You’re talking about revenue. So where the social media purists stop, we have to take a step further and say, “No, no, no. There’s a lot more to it.”

There are some social media purists over the years who have said things like, “You cannot or should not sell using social media channels.” We’ve got a couple of case studies in the book showing they’ve said things like, “Well, you shouldn’t be pushing marketing messages on your personal Facebook profile because that’s an inappropriate place for that to happen.”

So we went out looking for stories of people who had gone against this social media puritanical advice and had been successful in doing so—to illustrate the point that if all you think social media is about is joining the conversation, engaging, holding hands in a circle and singing “Kumbaya,” then you’re not going to be in business very long. Because if you’re not thinking about revenue, if you’re not thinking about approaching it strategically, if you’re not thinking about measuring it, then you’re probably going to fail.

Mike: You and I have had multiple discussions about this over the years, and I’m very glad that you’re addressing this. I believe 100% that there is a place for business, marketing and sales specifically in social media. I think that, hopefully, a lot of those purists will eventually wake up and see that there’s a place for that.

You mentioned “Kumbaya,” and in your book you mentioned the Kumbaya Effect. Can you define what that is and maybe we can dig a little deeper into what we need to know about it?

Jason: The Kumbaya Effect is where a person or company gets lost in the warm-and-fuzzy of social media: “Oh, we love engaging with our customers, and we love sitting on Facebook and Twitter and chitter-chattering all day.” That’s fine—there’s nothing wrong with enjoying it. Part of what makes social media fun is that you’re having one-to-one conversations and you’re engaging with your customers.

But if you get lost in the euphoria of being social and forget to be aware of your business, then you lose traction, you lose market share and you lose the opportunity to make money.

Every single business owner out there will tell you, if they know anything at all about their own business, “If I’m not doing something every moment of the day that’s going to lead to revenue, then I’m failing myself. I’m failing my business.”

So in terms of providing content and having conversations with people online as business folks, we need to make sure that we are consumer-centric. I’m not saying that we need to immediately just start dropping links to buy our stuff all the time. That’s not the point.

The point is we need to continue to be social, we need to continue to join the conversation and we need to continue to be consumer-centric. But we have to be business-aware—because if we’re not and we get lost in the euphoria, if we fall victim to the Kumbaya Effect, then we lose sight of our goals and we lose sight of what we need to do to drive our businesses.

Mike: You and Erik have done some research and discovered some businesses that are doing things that go against the grain of the purists. Can you mention one example of a business, big or small, that you think is doing something positive that’s actually generating results?

Jason: Last year for Christmas, my mother, Sara George, wanted a remote car starter, so she wouldn’t have to go out and sit in the car for 10 minutes on cold mornings. So my wife and I sent her a check and said, “It would be better if you have it installed where you live as opposed to us doing it here in Louisville,” which is three and a half hours away. “So here’s your check. Go and get your remote car starter.”

A few weeks after Christmas, she wakes up one morning—it’s really cold—and she goes on Facebook to check what’s going on before she goes to work.

She sees a message from a gentleman by the name of Greg Tackett. Now, she and Greg Tackett are acquaintances probably at best, but they live in a small town in eastern Kentucky. So in a small town, the context is a little different. They probably would say hello to each other walking down the street. They know each other well enough to do that, and so they’re connected as friends on Facebook.

Well, Greg Tackett posts a message on his personal Facebook wall, not on a brand page or anything like that, that says something along the lines of, “Come and get your remote car starter for these cold mornings at Tackett’s Custom Audio Car Stereo Place.” I can’t remember the exact name of the business.

Immediately, social media purists who had seen that flipped out: “Oh, you can’t sell via social media. You can’t put marketing messages on your Facebook personal profile. That’s against the rules. That’s wrong. You can’t do that. You’re a spammer!”

How would you think she responded to that message?

Mike: I think she probably would have said, “Wow, that’s exactly what I need!”

Jason: Exactly! She responded to the message with: “Can I make an appointment for Thursday?”

Even better, the viral nature of Facebook (and this is what you have to really think about) and the context of this man, Greg Tackett, putting that post on his personal wall, increases his likelihood of generating business.

Most of his personal friends live in the same small town. They know him, they know he has children to feed and they know he runs an auto aftermarket shop. And they know it’s cold outside, right? They saw his post and they saw my mother’s activity, and I think there were 12 or 13 people in that conversation thread who said, “I want one too.”

We did the math on that one Facebook wall post on Greg Tackett’s personal page, which was against all the rules of the social media purists. If all of those people had come and purchased a remote car starter that week—which I know my mother did, and several others probably did too—that one wall post generated about $4,000 in revenue for him.

Mike: That’s cool. You mentioned one of the myths earlier: that you can’t sell and you can’t make money with social media. Give me another big myth that you see businesses falling prey to when it comes to social media.


Watch this video from the authors

Jason: I think that probably the biggest myth of them all is that you can’t measure it.

Despite the fact that there are a number of people out there now finally talking about the measurement, quantification and qualification of what all of this means, you still have businesses out there asking, “How can I measure how much I’m getting out of Twitter or Facebook? I don’t control those websites. I’m not selling anything there. I’m just having my employees spend time there. What does it all mean?”

I think that obviously asking the measurement question first is missing the point because typically you don’t measure what you don’t have. So you have to start out by saying, “First of all, what do we want to accomplish?” You need to set your goals first.

In the book, we talk about that myth of not being able to measure social media return.

The case study that we use in the book is actually about a brand that people have maybe heard about, but it’s a different scenario. Some folks have maybe heard of the Fiskateers website, which is a scrapbooking online community for the Fiskars brand of scissors.

Without going into too much detail, basically it’s a community of scrapbookers, a branded community, by invitation only. They have about 8,000 members who are avid scrapbookers. Fiskars, the scissors company, sends them samples and gets feedback from them, and so on.

Fiskars developed an 8,000-member community of people passionate about scrapbooking and almost equally as passionate about Fiskars scissors because Fiskars was providing this community for them. Fiskars thought, “We’ve got 8,000 people online who will do anything we ask them to do. Let’s send prototypes and have the community test them. Let’s get product and feature adjustment ideas from them, and let’s let the community decide what the next version of our scissors is going to look like.”

Because they have an 8,000-member focus group at their fingertips, they’ve cut and trimmed their research and development budget. They no longer have to go out and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with intricate market research focus groups and whatnot, figuring out what people want out of their scissors, because they have those people right there.

So, you can measure it. You just have to have a plan first. You have to know what you’re trying to accomplish so that you can then say, “Okay, how much money did we make? How much money did we save? Are our customers happy?” Those are the three things that CEOs really care about.

Mike: You mentioned earlier selling with social media, and you made it very clear through your examples and discussion that yes, businesses can sell with social media. What I’d like you to do is share a tip or two about how to sell with social media.

Jason: The first thing you need to think about and understand is that when you’re selling things, you’re not just selling through social media, so you want to make sure that you have a comprehensive go-to-market sales strategy. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you sell virtual products, you sell things online or whatever, you need to think of this not in terms of a social media strategy, but also as a sales strategy overall.

Within the confines of social media, as it were, what you need to think about is that you want to have a point to every communication. The point is always: what is your call to action? What are you trying to get people to do?

When you’re in an informal conversation with a customer, it doesn’t mean you need to drop a link, “Click this and buy,” on everything you say. But you need to make sure that throughout your day, you are constantly following through with the point of your communication. Maybe that’s to register for an upcoming webinar, download a white paper or sign up for your e-newsletter. It’s moving the consumer further down into the marketing funnel.

You have to think about a point that drives people to action—to buy, download, reserve, call or something of that nature. I think that you can do that both in calls to action on your blog and calls to action on Facebook posts.

A perfect example is Dell Outlet, the Twitter account for Dell’s overstock situations. They’ve treated that account differently over the years, but at times, it’s just been a never-ending stream of links for you to click on and get discounts on products. But they have enough people out there who are interested in their products that they can do that. If you have an audience that says, “Pizza joint, I just want coupons and that’s all I want,” then just make your Twitter stream coupons.

Mike: Jason, it’s been a very interesting discussion, to say the least. Where can folks go to learn more about your new book, No Bullshit Social Media, and to learn more about you?

Jason: The book website is www.NoBullshitSocialMedia.com. We tried to make that pretty easy for people to remember. There, you’ve got links to where you can purchase it at Que Publishing, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

You can also get a free sample chapter as well, so if you read the first chapter and decide that it’s not for you, then you can save a little money and not buy the book. But I think most people will probably find it appealing and will want to buy it.

Kindle and Nook versions are out as well. The electronic versions can be purchased on various websites and apps where you get those. And it should be in most bookstores across the country now as well.

Then as far as I go, I’m @JasonFalls on Twitter. I’m typically Jason Falls on most social networks. I’m happy to connect with folks there. And then www.SocialMediaExplorer.com is my blog and company website where a couple of other writers and I try to keep us all on our toes thinking about the issues of the day in the social media world.

Mike: I encourage everyone to go out there and read the sample chapter of Jason’s book and pick up a copy.

Jason, thank you so much for making time for me today. I really appreciate this interview.

Jason: Anytime, Michael. I love you, and it was great being a part of helping www.SocialMediaExaminer.com get off and running a couple of years ago and I love coming back.

Listen to our complete extended interview below to hear more about Jason’s experience writing the book and his thoughts on Google+ and Facebook competition.

Click here to download MP3.

What do you think about Jason’s no-nonsense attitude? What are your thoughts on his “No Bullshit” guide to social media? Leave your comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.begun.ru/begun/collaboration/agents/detail.php?ID=3689 webpromo

    Written simply and tastefully. It’s pleasant to read. Thank u.

  • http://www.begun.ru/begun/collaboration/agents/detail.php?ID=3689 webpromo

    Written simply and tastefully. It’s pleasant to read. Thank u.

  • http://sdavismedia.com/ Sean Davis

    Nice interview. I actually don’t have a Facebook account anymore. When I did, though, I had mixed feelings about promoting on my personal accounts.

    On one hand, these were my friends and I didn’t want to annoy them. On the other, I’m doing business and I couldn’t give less than two shits about annoying them.

    Just recently, I decided that “everything is business.” I’m tired of wondering, “Should I sign up with my name or my website’s name?” It’s getting old.

    I’m done socializing for fun all day long. Sure, I’ll definitely communicate with my friends and acquaintances. But social media is too big to be reserved just for leisure.

    Great concept and I’m going to get the book.

    Cheers.

  • http://sdavismedia.com/ Sean Davis

    Nice interview. I actually don’t have a Facebook account anymore. When I did, though, I had mixed feelings about promoting on my personal accounts.

    On one hand, these were my friends and I didn’t want to annoy them. On the other, I’m doing business and I couldn’t give less than two shits about annoying them.

    Just recently, I decided that “everything is business.” I’m tired of wondering, “Should I sign up with my name or my website’s name?” It’s getting old.

    I’m done socializing for fun all day long. Sure, I’ll definitely communicate with my friends and acquaintances. But social media is too big to be reserved just for leisure.

    Great concept and I’m going to get the book.

    Cheers.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    Definitely going to pick up a copy. I like how you say “sales strategy”. I think one of the biggest missteps in social media is not supporting it with a content and sales infrastructure. That’s where inbound marketing concepts come into play. Are you going to get a copyright for that title? lol.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    Definitely going to pick up a copy. I like how you say “sales strategy”. I think one of the biggest missteps in social media is not supporting it with a content and sales infrastructure. That’s where inbound marketing concepts come into play. Are you going to get a copyright for that title? lol.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Sean,

    You should consider setting up a Facebook page instead of using your personal profile.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Sean,

    You should consider setting up a Facebook page instead of using your personal profile.

  • http://sdavismedia.com/ Sean Davis

    Yea that’s what I used to do. I had maybe 4 pages for a lot of different things I was doing. A lot of my online ventures were communities… like forums and organizations. So, it only made sense to me that I’d enlist my friends. Every time I tried to monetize my sites, though, I’d start feeling like it was the wrong crowd. They didn’t come there to buy from me. Most of them came to support their friend, you know?

    I think I need to get back into Facebook but completely forget the personal side of it. I don’t enjoy spending my time on Facebook anyway. I do, however, recognize the power it holds. I might just set up a profile and create some pages strictly for marketing purposes.

    What do you think?

  • http://sdavismedia.com/ Sean Davis

    Yea that’s what I used to do. I had maybe 4 pages for a lot of different things I was doing. A lot of my online ventures were communities… like forums and organizations. So, it only made sense to me that I’d enlist my friends. Every time I tried to monetize my sites, though, I’d start feeling like it was the wrong crowd. They didn’t come there to buy from me. Most of them came to support their friend, you know?

    I think I need to get back into Facebook but completely forget the personal side of it. I don’t enjoy spending my time on Facebook anyway. I do, however, recognize the power it holds. I might just set up a profile and create some pages strictly for marketing purposes.

    What do you think?

  • Gordon

    Hey Jason,
    At last some common sense, the trouble is that too many people have become social media “gurus” or “experts” based on their personal use of social media platforms.  They do not realise that ROI means “Return on Investment” rather than “Return on Ignorance” which is what they are pedalling.

  • Gordon

    Hey Jason,
    At last some common sense, the trouble is that too many people have become social media “gurus” or “experts” based on their personal use of social media platforms.  They do not realise that ROI means “Return on Investment” rather than “Return on Ignorance” which is what they are pedalling.

  • http://twitter.com/cpointccivnet CPCC/IVNet

    Everyone wants a cut and dried no bs explanation of how to engage social media and build their business, drive more traffice, make more sales.  I have read so many different perspectives on how to attact fans, fb secrets, why use one over the other or use them all.  The bottom line is busy professionals will have to think about the process, just like any other business plan.  Yes the tools are free, extendable addons.. maybe.  But you cannot ignore the fact that so many folks are utilizing these tools and it does work on getting the message across.  I had a business colleague tell me once that you can’t post feeds to twitter to your LinkedIn profile – its meant to be a job resource – It still use it.  My website stats continually skyrocket when articles are posted.  Until they cut me off – I’m using it.

  • http://twitter.com/cpointccivnet CPCC/IVNet

    Everyone wants a cut and dried no bs explanation of how to engage social media and build their business, drive more traffice, make more sales.  I have read so many different perspectives on how to attact fans, fb secrets, why use one over the other or use them all.  The bottom line is busy professionals will have to think about the process, just like any other business plan.  Yes the tools are free, extendable addons.. maybe.  But you cannot ignore the fact that so many folks are utilizing these tools and it does work on getting the message across.  I had a business colleague tell me once that you can’t post feeds to twitter to your LinkedIn profile – its meant to be a job resource – It still use it.  My website stats continually skyrocket when articles are posted.  Until they cut me off – I’m using it.

  • http://daviddoolin.com/ Dave Doolin

    Eastern Kentucky 3 and 1/2 hours from Louisville is really out there. Like, near Cumberland Gap or something. In any case, there isn’t anything big around those parts except mountains.

    Nice case study!

  • http://daviddoolin.com/ Dave Doolin

    Eastern Kentucky 3 and 1/2 hours from Louisville is really out there. Like, near Cumberland Gap or something. In any case, there isn’t anything big around those parts except mountains.

    Nice case study!

  • ThomasNewman

    I know this is unrelated, but I see in the article that Jason lives in Louisville, does he work at an ad agency in town?

  • ThomasNewman

    I know this is unrelated, but I see in the article that Jason lives in Louisville, does he work at an ad agency in town?

  • http://www.bloomersisland.com/ Bloomers!

    Bravo.  I always appreciate information (like the remote starter posting).  If it doesn’t interest me or apply to me I just ignore it.  I don’t see why in the world that would bother people.  I think the boundary could be:  does it have the potential to be helpful?  If so, post it.  

  • http://www.bloomersisland.com/ Bloomers!

    Bravo.  I always appreciate information (like the remote starter posting).  If it doesn’t interest me or apply to me I just ignore it.  I don’t see why in the world that would bother people.  I think the boundary could be:  does it have the potential to be helpful?  If so, post it.  

  • BethenyGreen

    Loved this book.  Easy to read and to the point.  I believe that each business is different and unique…and it’s approach to using social media must be tailored to their individual needs.  I too, use my personal profile to my advantage with my pet-sitting business – Paws Pet Care.  I do have a Fan Page, Twitter stream, Linked-In profile as well, but I find that my friends share my non-spammy posts on my personal page regarding my business more than they share the posts my Fan page (although most are also fans on my business page).

  • BethenyGreen

    Loved this book.  Easy to read and to the point.  I believe that each business is different and unique…and it’s approach to using social media must be tailored to their individual needs.  I too, use my personal profile to my advantage with my pet-sitting business – Paws Pet Care.  I do have a Fan Page, Twitter stream, Linked-In profile as well, but I find that my friends share my non-spammy posts on my personal page regarding my business more than they share the posts my Fan page (although most are also fans on my business page).

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thomas – Jason runs his own agency called Social Media Explorer

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thomas – Jason runs his own agency called Social Media Explorer

  • http://treasurycafe.blogspot.com/ david k waltz

    The word I thought of as I was reading this was “balance”. The purists sing “Kumbayah”, while some out there are just cramming their Twitter feeds and what not with plug after plug. It’s a business as well as social media, so maybe both factors need to be activated but neither one dominant? 

  • http://treasurycafe.blogspot.com/ david k waltz

    The word I thought of as I was reading this was “balance”. The purists sing “Kumbayah”, while some out there are just cramming their Twitter feeds and what not with plug after plug. It’s a business as well as social media, so maybe both factors need to be activated but neither one dominant? 

  • Kris de Leon

    Thanks for this article. It’s all about finding balance between the warm-fuzzy engagement, and the business side of converting prospects into sales. I definitely plan and getting a copy of this book.

  • Kris de Leon

    Thanks for this article. It’s all about finding balance between the warm-fuzzy engagement, and the business side of converting prospects into sales. I definitely plan and getting a copy of this book.

  • Pingback: CRM Outsiders » Blog Archive » Can you sell with social? Only after building a solid relationship

  • AdkinsFrancis

    my friend’s mom makes $78 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 5 months but last month her check was $7766 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this site http://ufil.ms/jfiHL

  • AdkinsFrancis

    my friend’s mom makes $78 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 5 months but last month her check was $7766 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this site http://ufil.ms/jfiHL

  • cherylpickett

    I’m curious about the example of the car starter and that the shop owner posted that on his personal page. I thought that kind of direct promo was a no no according to FB rules, or is that a change they actually made and didn’t tell us about? Or is it that as long as it isn’t constant, they’re not going to say anything?

  • cherylpickett

    I’m curious about the example of the car starter and that the shop owner posted that on his personal page. I thought that kind of direct promo was a no no according to FB rules, or is that a change they actually made and didn’t tell us about? Or is it that as long as it isn’t constant, they’re not going to say anything?

  • Meni Chiotelli

    Nice article. We all need to clear our heads on what social media is really about. You want to use it for fun, cool, you want to use it as a business , cool too. It’s one of those things where you can really mix business and pleasure and that is what its all about! Just keep in mind that you need to have a clear business target, whether that’s simple branding or more…

  • Meni Chiotelli

    Nice article. We all need to clear our heads on what social media is really about. You want to use it for fun, cool, you want to use it as a business , cool too. It’s one of those things where you can really mix business and pleasure and that is what its all about! Just keep in mind that you need to have a clear business target, whether that’s simple branding or more…

  • http://thesistown.com/ thesis writing service

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  • http://side-site.com Bryan Quinn

    What can I say? Another well presented and terrific post.

  • http://side-site.com Bryan Quinn

    What can I say? Another well presented and terrific post.

  • Heidi Gibson

    I love the way you guys present these topics…so easy to read, logical and informative too…keep going

  • Heidi Gibson

    I love the way you guys present these topics…so easy to read, logical and informative too…keep going

  • http://www.hotspotpromotion.com/ HotSpot Promotion

    Oh yeah – I’m with David.  It’s all about balance.  If you’re interesting, engaging, informative and supportive and you have a few ads thrown in there, no one’s going to mind.  It’s when it’s one link after another shoved in your face that you’re going to have problems.  And if  you never ask for a sale, who’s going to know what you have to offer?

  • http://www.hotspotpromotion.com/ HotSpot Promotion

    Oh yeah – I’m with David.  It’s all about balance.  If you’re interesting, engaging, informative and supportive and you have a few ads thrown in there, no one’s going to mind.  It’s when it’s one link after another shoved in your face that you’re going to have problems.  And if  you never ask for a sale, who’s going to know what you have to offer?

  • Harry Hallman

    The Social Media Purists Jason talks about are generally users not marketers. Why any marketer would listen to them is a mystery. It is like going to your butcher and asking medical questions. Yes he can cut meat, but can he do surgery on you?

    In fact, the social media marketing business is rife with non marketing “Gurus” who think they know how to market social media just because they used it in college. It is laughable.

    As for having a social media strategy, that is also ridiculous. You need a marketing stratey that uses social media as a tool as you do with online ads, print ads, TV, radio and so on.

    Jason is correct? It is about increasing sales, otherwise why do it. Those sales can come direct or the can be because of the branding that takes place online. Yes social media can also be a market research tool, but that generally only works for large companies. Smaller companies don’t have the resources to spend on just market research. They need increases in sales.

    Thanks for the article.

  • Harry Hallman

    The Social Media Purists Jason talks about are generally users not marketers. Why any marketer would listen to them is a mystery. It is like going to your butcher and asking medical questions. Yes he can cut meat, but can he do surgery on you?

    In fact, the social media marketing business is rife with non marketing “Gurus” who think they know how to market social media just because they used it in college. It is laughable.

    As for having a social media strategy, that is also ridiculous. You need a marketing stratey that uses social media as a tool as you do with online ads, print ads, TV, radio and so on.

    Jason is correct? It is about increasing sales, otherwise why do it. Those sales can come direct or the can be because of the branding that takes place online. Yes social media can also be a market research tool, but that generally only works for large companies. Smaller companies don’t have the resources to spend on just market research. They need increases in sales.

    Thanks for the article.

  • http://twitter.com/ExplosiveOM Debra Barber

    Sean, why don’t you just set up the pages and leave out the profile all together? You don’t need a profile to set up a page.

  • http://twitter.com/ExplosiveOM Debra Barber

    Sean, why don’t you just set up the pages and leave out the profile all together? You don’t need a profile to set up a page.

  • http://sdavismedia.com/ Sean Davis

    Wow, Debra! I had no idea that I could have a page with no profile. I’m on it. Thank you!

  • http://www.mindgum.co/ Nicholas Kontopoulos

    Michael,
    Thanks for publishing this post as I found it thought provoking.
    I share a similar concern over the amount of noise and hype that is created by so-called “Social Media Gurus”.  I often speak with Large Enterprises clients who are grappling with the topic of Social Media and all the noise that is being created is making it difficult for them to make informed decisions that will not see them run down a rabbit hole (I will come back to this in a moment)
    However, I first want to challenge two of the examples which Jason used in his interview as case studies in attacking the myth that businesses should not use Social Media (SM) as a sales channel:
    Example 1): Small town, Small Business, Social Media Sales example.
    Personally, I think this example was very weak one to use if he was hoping to deliver one that would transcend the broad spectrum of businesses he is hoping to appeal to with this case study. It is possibly a good example to use for a local business operating within a close-knit community. However, I fail to see how this can be used as a proof point that SM is ripe to be used as a sales channel.
    Additionally, if all my “friends” in my network was to start pushing their own companies’ products and services to me once a month my feed would be perpetually flooded with ads.
    Example 2) Fiskars Community
    Fiskars worked with a marketing agency called “Brains on Fire” (BoF) when it came to creating its vibrant and highly successful community (BoF specialise in helping companies/charities built and maintain vibrant communities)
    What Jason has not highlighted is that this success can be largely attributed to the offline investments that were made by Fiskars/BoF in identifying and organising a tribe of deeply passionate Scapbookers.  These tribe members then went on to become community leaders who organised gathering in their local towns etc. (for more background I highly recommend you read ‘Brains on Fire”). 
    Of course, Fiskars has also developed an online presence, which is an important part of the community  - it’s also worth pointing out that their online community is not run using Facebook (or similar SM platform) but was in fact created and hosted by Fiskars on behalf of their community members). 
    However, I believe it is very important in noting that this community origin began offline and that offline community activities still continue to be a key ingredient in ensuring the community remains vibrant.
    My 2 cents worth
    Social Media is ultimately just another “Channel”.  
    I say this, not because I am trying to belittle SM, in fact I am a huge fan. However, it’s my view that it is key that businesses consider it alongside of the rest of the customer-facing channels (Retail, eCom, Mobile, Email, Call Centre, Direct Sales etc. etc.). 
    My experience has shown me that businesses are still a long way from developing an omni -channel strategy. More importantly, and worryingly, they are still operating GTM strategies across multiply channels, which delivery a disjoined and inconsistence customer experience across the enterprise.
    Therefore, my advice to businesses consider a SM strategy is to firstly start by asking these simple questions:
    Who are we and are our offerings still relevant, if not why not?Are the channels we GTM with still relevant or our customers moving on?Do we have an open dialogue with our customers so that their voice is being heard? Do we an enterprise feedback loop in place that ensures what feedback we receive is listened too and acted on?Do we know who are our most valuable customers?
    Is our organizational culture/values aligned with that of our customer values/interests?Are we able to spot changes in purchasing behaviour?Do our customer experience a consistent journey across our enterprise?
    Thanks for your post and I look forward to your next blog contribution.
    Cheers,

  • http://www.mindgum.co/ Nicholas Kontopoulos

    Michael,
    Thanks for publishing this post as I found it thought provoking.
    I share a similar concern over the amount of noise and hype that is created by so-called “Social Media Gurus”.  I often speak with Large Enterprises clients who are grappling with the topic of Social Media and all the noise that is being created is making it difficult for them to make informed decisions that will not see them run down a rabbit hole (I will come back to this in a moment)
    However, I first want to challenge two of the examples which Jason used in his interview as case studies in attacking the myth that businesses should not use Social Media (SM) as a sales channel:
    Example 1): Small town, Small Business, Social Media Sales example.
    Personally, I think this example was very weak one to use if he was hoping to deliver one that would transcend the broad spectrum of businesses he is hoping to appeal to with this case study. It is possibly a good example to use for a local business operating within a close-knit community. However, I fail to see how this can be used as a proof point that SM is ripe to be used as a sales channel.
    Additionally, if all my “friends” in my network was to start pushing their own companies’ products and services to me once a month my feed would be perpetually flooded with ads.
    Example 2) Fiskars Community
    Fiskars worked with a marketing agency called “Brains on Fire” (BoF) when it came to creating its vibrant and highly successful community (BoF specialise in helping companies/charities built and maintain vibrant communities)
    What Jason has not highlighted is that this success can be largely attributed to the offline investments that were made by Fiskars/BoF in identifying and organising a tribe of deeply passionate Scapbookers.  These tribe members then went on to become community leaders who organised gathering in their local towns etc. (for more background I highly recommend you read ‘Brains on Fire”). 
    Of course, Fiskars has also developed an online presence, which is an important part of the community  - it’s also worth pointing out that their online community is not run using Facebook (or similar SM platform) but was in fact created and hosted by Fiskars on behalf of their community members). 
    However, I believe it is very important in noting that this community origin began offline and that offline community activities still continue to be a key ingredient in ensuring the community remains vibrant.
    My 2 cents worth
    Social Media is ultimately just another “Channel”.  
    I say this, not because I am trying to belittle SM, in fact I am a huge fan. However, it’s my view that it is key that businesses consider it alongside of the rest of the customer-facing channels (Retail, eCom, Mobile, Email, Call Centre, Direct Sales etc. etc.). 
    My experience has shown me that businesses are still a long way from developing an omni -channel strategy. More importantly, and worryingly, they are still operating GTM strategies across multiply channels, which delivery a disjoined and inconsistence customer experience across the enterprise.
    Therefore, my advice to businesses consider a SM strategy is to firstly start by asking these simple questions:
    Who are we and are our offerings still relevant, if not why not?Are the channels we GTM with still relevant or our customers moving on?Do we have an open dialogue with our customers so that their voice is being heard? Do we an enterprise feedback loop in place that ensures what feedback we receive is listened too and acted on?Do we know who are our most valuable customers?
    Is our organizational culture/values aligned with that of our customer values/interests?Are we able to spot changes in purchasing behaviour?Do our customer experience a consistent journey across our enterprise?
    Thanks for your post and I look forward to your next blog contribution.
    Cheers,

  • http://www.socialconnections.ie Socialconnections.ie

    Know i read about your book very impress and hope well in the future for the business requirement like many new technique used in this book how we get good response through social media.
       Specially i advice of business person if they read this book can improve his business maximum 25% percent every month.

  • http://www.socialconnections.ie Socialconnections.ie

    Know i read about your book very impress and hope well in the future for the business requirement like many new technique used in this book how we get good response through social media.
       Specially i advice of business person if they read this book can improve his business maximum 25% percent every month.

  • Pingback: Social Media for Business – A Different Approach.. « Social Media Analyst

  • http://twitter.com/DgitalRaindance TheDigitalRaindance

    Hallelujah Mike! This is one of the best posts I’ve read about social media. Congratulations to you and @JasonFalls on putting together a resource that identifies social media for what it is and should be – another marketing platform in the marketing mix. Part of the reason we hear so much about “Return on Engagement” and “listening passively as the most important value of SM” is because the early hype of social media came from PR professionals, who are expert communicators in positioning and protecting brands, but aren’t responsible for sales forecasts or product revenues. That’s the difference between how the “gurus” see social media to how marketers, or as I call them Rainmakers, want social media to perform for their businesses. We still do live in a Capitalist society right ? I write a best practices blog at http://www.thedigitalraindance.com to help traditional marketers understand the social media platform in a common sense way with a focus on how it can positively impact the top and bottom lines.Kudos to the Social Media Examiner for its sharp focus on social media.  

  • http://www.trustemedia.com Tracy Terry

    Good interview.  Thanks for the post.  It’s all common sense.

  • http://twitter.com/ExplosiveOM Debra Barber

    No worries, I’ve done a video walking people through it and it’s sitting on my YouTube channel. Just http://youtube.com/OnlineMarketingPerth and you’ll find it there.

  • Pingback: Social Media Weighs In On Iraq War’s End/Occupy Wall Street, And Stories You May Have Missed | Splash Media

  • http://twitter.com/EricaConroy Erica Conroy

    I think this is a step in the right direction. How are you providing ROI of in-store customers from Social Media?

  • http://www.sisatel.com Tania Sarkar

    gosh, i wonder if the interview is so insightful, what would the book contain?

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