Social Media for Business: Facilitator or Magician?

How good is a gladiator without his shield, sword and body armor? Well, before he could put all that on in the first place, he had to train for years, even practice with a wooden sword. At some point he reached a high level of preparation that made him strong mentally and physically.

Right there, that’s how good he is. Getting the latest armor will not necessarily make him the best against others. The shield and the sword are simply extensions. They protect him, make him reach farther and win more battles.

Too many professionals see social media tools as this separate thing, as something that will make them magically win business, customers, etc. The equation is pretty simple: if your business, product and service are not good enough, social networks will not revert that for you.

I interviewed John Jantsch, founder of and author of the book, “The Referral Engine”.  He said something similar: “…It does all start with being referable. If you’re not doing something that people want to talk about, no amount of reading my book is probably going to change that“.

Think of a bad book. Even if an effective team of digital marketers make it go around the world through social media, all they’ll be achieving is “reach” but not what matters: good reviews, loads of people talking about it and spreading the word.

I recently thought about some business that came to us via Twitter and LinkedIn. I pictured the entire scene: The lead, that post we published, the relationship we’ve been building throughout time, that coffee we had… and one day the “social media phone” rang. That simply facilitated the entire process, it gave us constant visibility of each other and a platform to stay in touch, that ultimately even became the glorious messenger for the business query. It was the quality of the information, the way a concept was explained, the answer to a question what really closed the deal. Social media was just the facilitator, our extension.

What do you think?

Comments ( 4 )
  • Kieran Daly says:

    Its definitely a funnel process building awareness of what you do – repeating , re-enforcing then spaeking ,reaching out – building a face to face or phone and then it ‘happens’ as you say.nn

  • Elaine Rogers says:

    Love the analogy – great movie.nVery true about the sword and shield enabling us to move further in and win more battles.nVery informative piece Fred, thank you – food for thought for me. So are you saying the numerous coffees will pay off eventually?

  • Channelship says:

    Thanks Elaine.nThe coffee is just one piece in the way. Apart from our digital strategy, that aims at reaching out and making a relevant impact, it’s important that we go back to what we have on the shelves, ensure that it is still of value and also evaluate how do we communicate that value. That’s 80% of the work, then it’s a matter of using those “extensions” to get found and build new connections:)

  • Marie Ennis-O'Connor says:

    Great post! Social media marketing must be fully integrated into a company’s marketing and public relations strategy to be effective – it is not a stand alone activity but needs to be informed by the company’s objectives, needs to be measurable and needs to be achievable in terms of a company’s resources and capabilities. Too many companies and individuals jump on the social media bandwagon without a clear strategy or SM marketing plan in place and their failure to leverage their social media marketing is the resultu00a0

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