Small Business Social Media Pt. 2: “Mission. Not Measurement Alone.”


My friend and partner (and best selling author) Bryan Eisenberg consults the Dells and the Universal Studios and the Volvo Internationals of the world. Recently, he delivered a keynote to a small business expo in Connecticut to talk about harnessing the power of social media.

Yesterday, in part 1, we discussed what triggers social media, Wal-Mart, and gurus, experts, and wizardstoday, we continue talking about some trouble I had with a presentation I sat through last week and its interpretation of users of social media as customers of small business.

Are you familiar with the ideas of relational and transactional customers? It might be helpful to review them before we start.

Bryan Eisenberg Making Google Shadow Puppets

Tim: I go back to this presentation I saw last week here in Small Market Middle West USA and they were talking about…

Bryan: …you mean the Real World?

Tim: Ha! Sure. Others might call it flyover country, but thank you.  The guy at the front of the room was talking about using Twitter and using Facebook for coupons and contesting and, in the terms we use, what I hear you say is that social media can very much be a relational media. The guy who I saw last week was purely talking about using it for discounting, using it for couponing so people want transactional ideas….

Bryan: Let me stop you there for one second.  I’m in the middle of putting together all my details on a post after a good friend of mine, Andrew Goodman published something last night that was very flattering to me and I even forgot about, which was funny and I knew this morning I need to go respond to this and he wrote something that said, “Social media, it’s about mission, not measurement alone”, and it’s kind of what I had also written on my blog a couple of weeks ago about how you can’t fake social media. And so what am I talking about?  It talks about the history of radio advertising.

Now, a lot of people don’t know this, but there are basically two main ways that people can advertise on radio.

Number one, I can yell “SALE, SALE, SALE, SALE, SALE”, and get addicted to crack cocaine and every time they yell sale it takes harder and harder to get a good hit or they can use radio to build relationships with their customers.

However, radio advertising first started out, actually the first radio advertisement, I was just thinking up the actual history, the first actual radio commercial was broadcasted in 1922.  It hit its Hayday in the beginning of the ‘30’s and ‘40’s and it wasn’t until 1942 that Nielsen decided to launch their first ever rating service.  You know even back then it wasn’t really done to rate the media per say and the audience but it was kind of to give people a sense of scale of are they reaching people.

Here’s the problem with social media, and this is part of what my friend Andrew was talking about.

He says first of all everybody wants to use this media because they’re people there, it’s digital and I can measure it, so let me do things that I can measure, give coupons and all of that so I can track it and make sure oh yeah, this is working.  And we all know how that worked out in radio.

So yes, can you use the media for that, absolutely you can use online media for that. Will it work for you?  It might a little bit, it might for a short time, but I’m actually going to share with you a very interesting study that just came out, and it’s a survey so we’ll take it with a grain of salt.

The reasons for friending or following companies through social media according to US Consumers December 2009 –

Number one, they want to learn about specials or sales, and again we just have to keep on what the words are about.

The second one is they want to learn about new products, features, and services.

The other respondents were entertainment, funnier, insightful, and company culture environmental responsibility, worker policies, etc..,

So, what this is telling me is:

“Hey, if I friend you it’s because I want to have a closer relationship with you. I want to know that you want to treat me a little bit differently.”

It’s not just giving me a coupon but like a friend asked me, I was in Montreal just a couple of weeks beforehand with a client and he says I have a friend of mines who has a small bakery here in Montreal and he says, “How would you use Twitter?”, and I said, “Well, very simple way.”  I said, “Look, I ask my customers if they want to sign on my Twitter list and I would do nothing else but every night beforehand I’d figure out one special recipe that I’d make the following morning, something I just want to make a small batch. And that night before I would send a Tweet out to everybody that says ‘hey, tomorrow morning you’re going to see it on the shelves, but if you come in and ask for X, we’ll give you some.’”  Now, let me ask you a question, if you got that kind of a message from the bakery that you love so much at night and you knew they were baking chocolate croissants the next morning, what’s the possibilities you might stop in there and maybe buy a coffee or maybe buy something else for lunch?  Pretty high.

Tim: Of course, but it goes back to what you’re saying Bryan which is that you have an expectation that croissant is going to be remarkable.

Bryan: Well that’s exactly, it’s remarkable because it’s not the standard fare either, right?  I’m giving you something special because we have a relationship.

Think about it this way, and I like to tell people this all the time that social media is a lot like a cocktail party, the goal of social media isn’t to sleep with everybody, you’re not looking to score on every conversation.  For some people that strategy works, for Dell outlets that part of social media works.  Hey, I’m trying to liquidate something, you want it, go for it, very transactional, it’s okay, people know they’re the computer sluts, okay, I can do this, I’m sure our friends at Dell are not going to appreciate me telling it that way but again that’s what this is known for and that will work.

But the point is let me go around, let me get to know people and as I get to know people and develop deeper relationships I can develop special things I can share with them.

You don’t share everything of your life with everybody in your life and it’s the same thing here: hold something back to give people something extra, that Lagniappe, the Cajun term that means delight factor, that really makes the difference in a relationship.

It’s this whole concept of self disclosure, it’s as we get to know people we get to share more intimate details of each other and it’s the same thing about developing strong social media prescence, build a business that’s remarkable, share with them things that you don’t share with everybody else and that’s how you use this medium to really drive revenue, it’s brand building, it’s relationship building, it’s not direct response even though it’s a direct response vehicle that’s delivering it.

Tim: Right, and that’s great, you actually answered my last question.  So what would be the things you would focus on first and we can just close with that.

Bryan: I gave them all six basic tips, and let me share that with you and then we’ll probably be in perfect shape.

And in Part 3 tomorrow, Bryan and I discuss all six tips. It’s incredibly valuable information. I was surprised he gave it away for free. But he’s freakishly generous as well as smart. Bryan and I discuss the real power of social media. I hope you’ll join in the discussion by leaving a comment or question.

Why do companies like Google, Forbes and HP, call Bryan Eisenberg to speak to their audiences?

For more than 10 years, Bryan has been showing them many things about the online world with one net result: how to get more people to do more things. Why do people buy? What makes them click? What takes an online company from good to great? This is what Bryan knows. This is what Bryan shares.

Bryan Eisenberg, marketing speaker, is a former teacher with a great passion for sharing his rich knowledge. He’s delivered keynote addresses for many corporate events and industry conferences such as Search Engine Strategies,, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, E-consultancy, Webcom and the Canadian Marketing Association.

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As CEO and Head Custodian of Miles & Company, Tim Miles helps owner-operated companies do more with less. He's the author of Good Company: Making It, Keeping It & Being It.

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Good advice? Please share. Thanks!
  • Ken Brand

    Yum, yum, I want a Chocolate Croissant for desert. Thank you for serving up Filet Mignon. Cheers.

  • Clay Campbell

    Great stuff!