Social Media Strategy

Social Media Turns Tie Games Into Brand Wins

Let’s not lose our minds, okay?

Sure, social media is transformative, because it changes the company to customer relationship from its historical “master and servant” to something closer to “peer to peer.” But even transformative shifts don’t dictate that you can rewrite rules and rationality.

Baseball is the longest of professional sports seasons. 162 games (after 40 practice contests in the Spring), spread over more than half a year. There’s a baseball axiom that says a team will win 60 games and lose 60 games each year on general principle and randomness. It’s the other 42 games and their outcomes that separate good teams from terrible ones.

Social media is the 42 games of your business.

If the other guy has a better product, a cheaper product, better customer service, or some other core advantage over your offerings, you’re going to lose 60 games worth of customers. It doesn’t matter whether your social media program is full of unicorns and smiley faces and followers and Mashable praise. Inferior companies will lose at least their fair share of purchase battles.

Conversely, if you have a better mousetrap, awesome customer service, low prices, or other attributes, you’ll get your share of customers whether or not you ever tweet a single thought.

But for the fence-sitters, the customers trying to decide between you and your competitor, or trying to decide whether or not to order from you again, social can be the crucial tie-breaker. The kinship that social can build between your company and your customers and prospects can help you win those toss-ups. We want to buy from people we know, like, and trust. Social helps build those bridges, given us an edge when customers are trying to decide between two very similar purveyors. It’s the secret weapon. The nitro boost. The clutch base hit in the bottom of the ninth.

I firmly believe that social’s true calling is to move customers into more and more valuable RFM and Lifetime Value segments by nudging them to buy more, buy more often, and encourage their friends to buy too.

The idea that somehow social media – despite its many charms and advantages – is going to magically create tens or hundreds of thousands of new customers for you out of thin air is a fallacy. That doesn’t mean it’s not powerful, it’s just not as all-powerful as some folks would have you believe.

Social is an important part of an integrated marketing program, not a replacement for one.

(image by Shutterstock, a Convince & Convert sponsor)



Facebook Comments


  1. says

    I like this post because it’s an honest assessment of social media, which is that it is another tool in the marketing box. You may use it a lot, or maybe only on occasion depending on what you’re trying to do. It’s hard to keep that perspective sometimes as it’s easy to feel like you need to try to give everything equal attention. Working on that, thanks for the reminder!

  2. says

    Funny Jay, I just left this exact short comment over on @Gemma Went’s blog and it fits the bill here too:

    I love some of the quotes in this presentation, but this one sticks out at the moment:

    “He who creates the most refreshing value wins”

    If you’re focus is creating value with your social media efforts, you’ll create it. It’s just a built-in benefit of the social web.

    If you’re an a^s of a company, stay far away – it amplifies that too… It’s just a build-in benefit of the social web.

    I hope you don’t me sharing her post here – ties in beautifully with what your sharing today:

    Wow, you and @Danny Brown killed it with SM and diversity topic yesterday – cheers to both of you Jay!

  3. says


    Besides this killer quote, “Social media is the 42 games of your business.” I really like that you point out the fallacy that “…social media … is going to magically create tens or hundreds of thousands of new customers for you out of thin air.”

    I’ve been struggling with this a ton lately as I’ve been doing more and more “social sales.” I’m not ever sure what that means. I’d like to spend my 42 games on building meaningful relationships, creating trust, providing help/resources/value – aka “building the foundation.” Then, when a loose connection or friend is ready to buy, it will be easier to ask. I’ll have earned their trust.

    Also, I’m starting to see more and more “inbound” leads also as a result of my social media efforts. My name/brand/company/industry is all tied together. Email marketing = Blue Sky Factory = DJ Waldow = My Avatar.

    I think that is where to social media “juice” is.

    Make sense?

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