9 Ways Social Media is Like Sex

1. It’s Not the Size of the Tool, It’s How You Use It – One of the greatest things about social media is that businesses with tiny marketing budgets can still benefit from them as marketing tools. The winner in social media is not the company that shelled out major dollars for a new and shiny tool, but rather the company that leveraged their free Twitter account to engage with their consumers and bring in new business.

2. Foreplay is Key – Some companies dive head first into social media, and then wonder why their results are less than satisfactory. Before using social media as a marketing tool, it is necessary to scan the environment you are about to enter. Know what people are saying about your brand, your industry, and your competitors. Here are 10 free tools you can use to get started.
3. Your Lame Pick-Up Lines Only Work in the Short-Term – Can you use free stuff (contests, promotions, etc.) to draw in new Twitter followers and Facebook fans? Sure. Will you have built real, lasting relationships with these consumers? Not unless there is a tie-in with your brand and a significant benefit to your audience.
4. It’s Ok to Ask How You’re Doing – There’s no shame in reaching out to your customers for feedback on your social media efforts. Ask them what they hope to gain out of liking you on Facebook or following you on Twitter. Is it information? Deals and discounts? Don’t be shy – asking for suggestions is like free market research, which can be used to boost your performance.
5. Your Most Satisfied Customers Are Happy to Share Their Experiences – Social media has become a vehicle for consumers to share what they’ve experienced with certain brands, both online and offline. Ask them to post their experience on social networks or review sites (assuming you know they are satisfied), or perhaps take this a step further by building a brand ambassador program. Your most loyal customers are eager to advocate for you.
6. Your Most Dissatisfied Customers Are Even Happier to Share Their Experiences – Just as your happy customers will tweet and post about how wonderful you are, you’re not-so-happy customers can potentially wage an online war against your brand. With social media, everyone has a voice. The guy who was unhappy with your customer service may have a blog with 100,000 readers. Be on the lookout for negative sentiment regarding your brand, and have a plan for handling it. Know that ignoring it can very quickly blow up in your face.
7. Everyone’s an “Expert” (Or “Guru” or “Ninja”) – You’ll hear these terms thrown around quite loosely in social media, but they should not be taken at face value (see #5 at this link). Just because someone knows how to set up a fan page or uses social media for personal use does not in any way signify that they are suited to manage your brand’s social media marketing.

8. You Need to Do More Than Just Show Up; You’ve Got to Engage – Think you can set up accounts on different platforms, schedule some content, and see results? Think again. To see success in social media requires real, long-term engagement. Performance improves over the course of a relationship.

9. It’s better to admit your mistakes immediately – When you screw up in social media the whole world sees it. Staying silent about it can result in highly negative sentiment regarding your brand. You’ll often find that consumers are more forgiving if you admit to your mistakes and make an effort to correct them.

About the Author

Andrew Krebs-Smith is Vice President at Social Fulcrum, a word of mouth and social media marketing agency. Andrew has “leveraged” social media and other marketing tools for over 100 companies including Pfizer, the National Chicken Council, and Strayer University.


13 comments on “9 Ways Social Media is Like Sex

  1. Pingback: 9 Ways Social Media is like sex

  2. Hilarious way of going about this, but also very insightful! I agree completely. Just because you use something doesn’t mean it’s going to get the job done. It’s about being strategic in the use of a tool, in this case, social media. I was just having a discussion about this with some classmates in reference to the CK One campaign. They would do well to read this blog and take notes!

    Katy Echols
    Writer, Editor, Designer

  3. Thanks for the positive feedback Katy! Feel free to suggest our services to CK One 😉

    On a more serious note, I’m glad to see that others in the industry agree with our points. There is a lot of misinformation or (even worse) just plain vague information about how to leverage social media, and our mission is to educate as many people as possible. We can’t do it alone though, and we’re glad that students like you are discussing these issues.

    Viel Glück mit Ihrem Semester!

  4. Love this… especially #5! I have no problem sharing when I have a good experience… but I am currently having major issues with AT&T service and have dedicated my feed to sharing not only my thoughts and problems with them, but others as well! (www.twitter.com/jackie_dibella)

  5. Jackie, I hope that AT&T is listening/measuring sentiment online regarding their brand, for your sake and for their sake. It would be a pity to have disappointed customers go unnoticed.

    On a more positive note – thanks for the compliment!

  6. Pingback: What is a fan worth? « People like to share

  7. I’ve never been so excited about Twitter before! Seriously though, these are great tips for someone in my position (aspiring PR professional). Thanks for the advice and the humor!

  8. Way to take a hot headline and make it into a damn good and funny post. So naturally I gotta add:

    – Don’t be surprised when you don’t get any on the first date. (see your #2) Those initial tweets and likes and comments are just the beginning, not the time to ask your new friends to put out (buy).

    – If you do it right, consider others needs/wants along with your own, they’ll keep coming back for more. Self explanatory, see also Apple.

    – Nothing beats the real thing. (per #8) Can’t set it, forget it, automate it and expect the same results; gotta do the work.

    – By all means, seek professional guidance. Watch some porn.. -er, training films, read some blogs and talk to a professional to learn how to do it well, how to get it right.

    Trying not to get TOO silly or dirty w/ it, FWIW.

  9. Davina – those are all excellent points. I especially love the first one, as many brands try to push a sale too soon. Thanks for the well-thought contribution!

  10. I like how you tied these ideas together! It’s funny and people can relate – but also has ideas that are extremely important to follow in the world of PR. Social media is all about engagement and two-way communication models. It is also pivotal that brands react to any comments that are said about their brand – whether negative or positive. Thanks for the great post!

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