Top SM Tip? Better to Give than Receive!

April 26, 2010  |  Social Media for Business

It’s a Boomer memory that most of us can relate to.  Remember when you were 10, and your parents took you to the Dairy Queen for a special treat on a Saturday night?  Such a big decision… Dipped cone or chocolate sundae?  Those were the choices.  And everyone stuck by their favourite.  I was a chocolate sundae kind of girl.  Couldn’t see the benefit of  switching my allegiance to a dipped cone.  Why would I want to do that?

Fast forward 40 years.  There are two camps in the world of business these days, too, when it comes to Social Media.  Some people – let’s call them the chocolate sundae people -  wonder why the heck they need to embrace SM.  “The things we’ve always done have always worked,” they say.

Others – let’s call them the dipped cone people -  understand the importance of learning all they can about SM and using it as the brilliant marketing tool it is.

Let’s face it.  Sooner or later the chocolate sundae people are going to become dipped cone people.  And once they’re holding that cone, they’re going to want to know how to lick it in the best possible way.   Are you ready?  Write this down.  The number one tip to remember is this:  “It’s better to GIVE than to RECEIVE.” (More…)

Canadian SM Consulant Mark Evans says you need to wrap your head around a new attitude.  Once you’ve established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., he says, remember that it’s as much about giving as it is about receiving.  Your motivation is not necessarily to promote your product or service with every post… but instead to offer your followers information that might help them make smarter decisions or live a more full life.

For example, post links to interesting newspaper or magazine articles, blogs, websites, etc.  Tell your followers about new trends and issues in the news.  By offering a balanced variety of promotion and education, you stop becoming self-serving.

In Social Media, as in life, it’s all about the OTHER guy.  Share information and advice, and your followers will begin to value you as a trusted resource.  You’re building goodwill and putting yourself out there as a solid corporate citizen.

There’s give and take, with emphasis on the “GIVE”.  It may be tough to digest at first, but sooner or later that dipped cone is going to be one of the best treats you’ve ever tasted. ;-)

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  1. Great to hear that you’re jumping into the Social Media pool, Catherine! The water’s great! Now you just need to encourage more of your Boomer friends to jump in, too. Thanks for your comment ;-)

  2. You are absolutely right, Karen and Sean. I was debating about whether to start a blog or open a Twitter account to make myself more marketable to employers. I’ve opted for Twitter, so I can share articles tips and strategies related to my field of expertise. I may still be a tweeting novice, but I am confident that the effort will be worth it.


  3. And a great essay it is, Sean…
    I think YOU should have a Social Media website!!!
    Bam! Pow! Kaboom! Take that, Mark ;-)

  4. Mark,
    Any business is in business to make money. No one is naive enough to believe otherwise and certainly advertising showing up everywhere can be annoying but that’s what pays for sites like Facebook and services like Google. You want to pay monthly for all those sites? Didn’t think so. What we’re talking about here is how any company can leverage social media to form a more personal and productive relationship with their current customers and create new ones. The Nigerian banking Spam problem has nothing to do with this. It’s about teaching companies new ways to engage with their customers for the cost of a single new staff member to manage their social media content. What people like Karen need to deliver is education about the medium and numbers on the results that can be achieved. Education is easy. Tracking positive hits and the sales they generate may not be so easy. I lack the skills to say how to do that. However, I recognize that any business developing a social media strategy will want solid numbers on these things.
    Oh look, I’ve typed another essay.



  5. Mark… Hmmmm… Do I detect a note of cynicism? Call me crazy…really…I answer to “Crazy”.

    Sounds to me like you don’t trust Social Media any farther than you can throw it. Giant commercial? I think some of the savvy corporations out there might disagree. Feeling spammed by unwanted advertising and promotion every time you turn around??? Being hounded by that pesky Nigerian bank at all hours of the day and night??? You’re focusing on the dark side, my friend… There’s also some sunshine streaming through the windows… Close your eyes and let it wash over you… You might be amazed at how good it feels ;-)

  6. Sean… Love the info re: Zagg. Thanks for the tip! It’s really cool to take a look out in the market place and see who actually “gets it”. The idea isn’t to annoy people with useless garbage clogging their Facebook or Twitter accounts 24/7… The idea is to GIVE them something they can use in their daily life, and build a relationship with them. The more I trust them, the more I might want to do business with them. You’re so right. It’s all about being interactive. And that means being on top of the activity on the site. If I post a question to a manufacturer or a retailer, I want to get an answer… today! And hey – if I get that answer – chances are I just might want to spend my money with that company. It’s such a different world now. Thanks for the awesome comment!!!

  7. FINALLY…a medium that is content driven, instead of just being an agenda for people to sell their crap and push their agenda and thoughts on to others. As a fan of the Best Buy, Chapters, Future Shop and countless Band facebook pages, I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Social Media won’t be misused as just a giant commercial. At last…a place where you can actually TRUST everything you read, and I can finally get that money from the Nigerian bank they have been promising. Really…MILLIONS!

  8. You make an excellent point that I hadn’t really considered, Karen. As a business using Social Media you certainly want to get the word out about your products but you also have a fantastic opportunity to build brand loyalty through every post you put up. Let’s face it, the majority of people/customers who “get” social media right now are young, have more disposable cash than most and are still of an age where they haven’t become “chocolate sundae” consumers yet. Prove to them that your brand has more to offer by making them part of your “community” and you’ll have them hooked for life. One company doing a great job of this is Zagg, the inventors of the Invisible Shield for mobile devices. Western Digital has a presence on Facebook but updates so often that you want to block them and their posts are nothing more than disguised ads. Regardless, at least Western Digital is trying and they’ll get better as long as they read the posts and mine them for feedback and use that feedback. Nothing is more annoying than posting a question to a retailer on Facebook or Twitter and not getting any kind of response. This is Social Media and it’s supposed to be interactive so interact with your “friends”. When you do you’ll be building brand loyalty faster than you can imagine.



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