Community Management, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Tools, Brand Communities, Facebook, Social Media Marketing

Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend

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If you’re Apple, Nike, or anything made with bacon, stop reading now.

If not, read on and recognize that your customers are probably not desperately trying to connect with your brand in social media.

As marketers, we’re trained to “see” brands and how they compete for our attention. Like a gold digger with a nose for AMEX, we’re disproportionately aware of opportunities and circumstances that could be used to create a communications advantage.

Your customers are not. They aren’t marketers, and typically they don’t spend time thinking about how they can advocate on behalf of your company.

loyalty 300x200 Your Customers Dont Want to be Your Friend

Single, Non-Smoking Company Seeks Companion for Laughs, Maybe More

Your customers don’t innately want to follow your company or Twitter or friend you on Facebook, or read your blog, or watch your videos. There’s mountains of great content online unencumbered by a corporate dynamic. Thus, embracing your company and it’s content is not a high priority.

Your job as a modern marketer then is not to “target” or “communicate” or even “persuade.” Your job is to create rationales.

Answer the Question of Why?

Why would a customer want to connect with your company online? What’s the benefit? How does doing so provide value, or helpfulness, or enjoyment? You must make the case to the customer that by NOT connecting with you, they are missing out on something of value. And you have to deliver on that promise.

Socially-enabled marketing finally fulfills the promise that the Web itself once trumpeted. It truly is the great equalizer. Succeeding in social media isn’t about company size, or company type, or company history, or resources, or geography.

But it is about rationale. The companies that can create a compelling reason for their customers to connect will succeed on the social Web. And those that don’t put the necessary emphasis on helpfulness and relevancy will fail.

If Your Mom Isn’t Stoked, Your Customers Certainly Won’t Be

Do this. The next time you have some sort of social media idea – a lure or a hook that you believe will get your customers excited and friending you like mad on Facebook, take a step back. Call your Mom (or anyone else that believes in you disproportionately). Ask her to rate on a scale of 1-10 how excited your whiz bang idea makes her. If it’s less than 8, try again. You’ve failed the rationale test.

I’m still working through this idea of clearly demonstrating to customers WHY connecting with your brand is important. What do you think?

Related
  • http://www.marketingprofs.com/ Ann Handley

    Good post, Jay, and something I’ve been thinking about lately, as it happens.

    I don’t have all the answers, either. But at the end of the day, it’s about creating something that people want to be a part of. Like Nike, or anything with bacon.

    If you aren’t Apple, or Nike, or made of (or with!) bacon, it seems to me that the cornerstone of that “thing” that people want to be a part of is excellent content. (That assumes that you already have an excellent product or service, of course.)

    As you say, there are boatloads of content out there not driven by any corporate agenda. So the challenge is to create stuff or experiences that people want to be part of, that they want to (for lack of a better word) consume. In other words, the challenge is to make your company or business a kind of hub for substantive information your customers want, or that signals, “I want to be part of this.”

    Not because it’s yours, but because it’s great.
    .-= Ann Handley´s last blog ..Touchscreen Mobile Phone Adoption Growing Rapidly in US =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment Ann.

      I agree that content is king. But it has to be relevant, and there needs to be some sort of overarching plan for what type of relationship you want your brand to have with customers. Just creating content willy nilly (first time I’ve typed that here), will help from a straight SEO standpoint, but won’t deliver the personal relevancy necessary to move customer relations from transactional, to something deeper and more sustainable.

  • http://www.marketingprofs.com Ann Handley

    Good post, Jay, and something I’ve been thinking about lately, as it happens.

    I don’t have all the answers, either. But at the end of the day, it’s about creating something that people want to be a part of. Like Nike, or anything with bacon.

    If you aren’t Apple, or Nike, or made of (or with!) bacon, it seems to me that the cornerstone of that “thing” that people want to be a part of is excellent content. (That assumes that you already have an excellent product or service, of course.)

    As you say, there are boatloads of content out there not driven by any corporate agenda. So the challenge is to create stuff or experiences that people want to be part of, that they want to (for lack of a better word) consume. In other words, the challenge is to make your company or business a kind of hub for substantive information your customers want, or that signals, “I want to be part of this.”

    Not because it’s yours, but because it’s great.
    .-= Ann Handley´s last blog ..Touchscreen Mobile Phone Adoption Growing Rapidly in US =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment Ann.

      I agree that content is king. But it has to be relevant, and there needs to be some sort of overarching plan for what type of relationship you want your brand to have with customers. Just creating content willy nilly (first time I’ve typed that here), will help from a straight SEO standpoint, but won’t deliver the personal relevancy necessary to move customer relations from transactional, to something deeper and more sustainable.

  • http://www.remindo.com/ Kapil Makhija

    What seems to be missing is the point that customer’s may not like to be your friend but they do like becoming ur fan. Several times we as customers like some product and wants to follow it by becoming a fan. We like to be known of the recent happenings and updates.
    It happens with me at times, when I like some product and i literally enjoy promoting it in my circle.. After trying a new product people like to talk about it. They may prefer being a fan, than a friend. :)

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Excellent point Kapil. And thank you for the comment. I agree that there’s a difference between fans and friends. That’s worth exploring for certain.

  • http://www.remindo.com Kapil Makhija

    What seems to be missing is the point that customer’s may not like to be your friend but they do like becoming ur fan. Several times we as customers like some product and wants to follow it by becoming a fan. We like to be known of the recent happenings and updates.
    It happens with me at times, when I like some product and i literally enjoy promoting it in my circle.. After trying a new product people like to talk about it. They may prefer being a fan, than a friend. :)

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Excellent point Kapil. And thank you for the comment. I agree that there’s a difference between fans and friends. That’s worth exploring for certain.

  • http://EightTrails.com/ Ed Tankersley

    But answering “why” is the hardest part! Can’t you just give us the answers, instead of insisting we think about it ourselves?

    I suspect we stop short of really working out the “why” sometimes because there isn’t a good answer. That should be a warning sign that using social media for engagement isn’t going to be effective, but we press on because we feel we have to (or because the client is paying for it).

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Ed, I’m just a coach. You’re a player.

      I think we can use social media for engagement, we just need to take the requisite amount of time and recognize that you have to offer something of true value. And that’s not as simple as a Facebook status update.

      • http://EightTrails.com/ Ed Tankersley

        I didn’t mean to imply we can never use social media for engagement — that would get me booted off this blog. I meant that in some cases, the customers just aren’t there (how many beet farmers are reading blogs?) or we don’t have a compelling reason to make a particular customer group engage (could you form a community around a roofing company, for example?).

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

          There are actually a ton of farmers using social media now, especially via mobile device.

          But in any event, there’s more to social media (or there should be) than creating a community. In fact, I believe the focus on utility and being relevant to your customers on a 1:1 basis is making this whole notion of “build a community” less critical. It’s another post I’ve been pondering.

  • http://EightTrails.com Ed Tankersley

    But answering “why” is the hardest part! Can’t you just give us the answers, instead of insisting we think about it ourselves?

    I suspect we stop short of really working out the “why” sometimes because there isn’t a good answer. That should be a warning sign that using social media for engagement isn’t going to be effective, but we press on because we feel we have to (or because the client is paying for it).

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Ed, I’m just a coach. You’re a player.

      I think we can use social media for engagement, we just need to take the requisite amount of time and recognize that you have to offer something of true value. And that’s not as simple as a Facebook status update.

      • http://EightTrails.com Ed Tankersley

        I didn’t mean to imply we can never use social media for engagement — that would get me booted off this blog. I meant that in some cases, the customers just aren’t there (how many beet farmers are reading blogs?) or we don’t have a compelling reason to make a particular customer group engage (could you form a community around a roofing company, for example?).

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

          There are actually a ton of farmers using social media now, especially via mobile device.

          But in any event, there’s more to social media (or there should be) than creating a community. In fact, I believe the focus on utility and being relevant to your customers on a 1:1 basis is making this whole notion of “build a community” less critical. It’s another post I’ve been pondering.

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    I love the “Mom” test.

    It definitely establishes a clear baseline. We’re excited about brands because we’re marketers. Will anyone else be so interested? Doubtful.

    I think once again it just comes down to utility. If your customers will receive value from using your messaging/tools? Then it will get used. Otherwise it will rot.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..A Glass Cage of Emotion =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Stuart I love the way you phrase that….utility. Yes! That’s it precisely. Functionality and helpfulness rule, because it’s nearly impossible to win on coolness or newness any longer. The Kraft iphone app that’s been so popular and rightfully ballyhooed is a great example. Recipes in your pocket. The Wine Spectator text message program where you can SMS what you’re eating, and they’ll send back a wine recommendations is a similar circumstance. Be helpful first.

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    I love the “Mom” test.

    It definitely establishes a clear baseline. We’re excited about brands because we’re marketers. Will anyone else be so interested? Doubtful.

    I think once again it just comes down to utility. If your customers will receive value from using your messaging/tools? Then it will get used. Otherwise it will rot.
    .-= Stuart Foster´s last blog ..A Glass Cage of Emotion =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Stuart I love the way you phrase that….utility. Yes! That’s it precisely. Functionality and helpfulness rule, because it’s nearly impossible to win on coolness or newness any longer. The Kraft iphone app that’s been so popular and rightfully ballyhooed is a great example. Recipes in your pocket. The Wine Spectator text message program where you can SMS what you’re eating, and they’ll send back a wine recommendations is a similar circumstance. Be helpful first.

  • http://www.TheSocialMediaBible.com/ Steven Groves

    Geez, Jay – more real thinkin’ on social media!

    Great question businesses need to answer as they undertake a presence in social media. Realizing that a slew of customers are NOT standing at the door ad probably really don’t care about your ‘brand’ is often a hard one for an entrepreneur to swallow.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Thanks Steve. I appreciate the comment. Good to see you here. No question that nearly every small company I’ve worked with overestimates initial interest in and awareness of, their product or service. Interestingly, social media monitoring helps pop that balloon. If nobody is talking about you online, do you exist? (insert your own existential metaphor here).

      • http://blog.catchfiremedia.com/ Mike Templeton

        Social media monitoring is indeed a good place to start your journey, but it seems like too many companies and brands are wrapped in the campaigns and the results. They are ready to push an initiative out the door before they even realize who it may (or may not) be touching.

        This issue of “Ready. Fire. Aim.” is something we’ve been battling forever. How do we help companies focus on the why and put the brakes on?
        .-= Mike Templeton´s last blog ..Cloaked in a Cotton Crew-Neck =-.

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

          No question Mike we’re in the middle of serious shiny object syndrome. It will fade (i hope).

  • http://www.TheSocialMediaBible.com Steven Groves

    Geez, Jay – more real thinkin’ on social media!

    Great question businesses need to answer as they undertake a presence in social media. Realizing that a slew of customers are NOT standing at the door ad probably really don’t care about your ‘brand’ is often a hard one for an entrepreneur to swallow.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Thanks Steve. I appreciate the comment. Good to see you here. No question that nearly every small company I’ve worked with overestimates initial interest in and awareness of, their product or service. Interestingly, social media monitoring helps pop that balloon. If nobody is talking about you online, do you exist? (insert your own existential metaphor here).

      • http://blog.catchfiremedia.com/ Mike Templeton

        Social media monitoring is indeed a good place to start your journey, but it seems like too many companies and brands are wrapped in the campaigns and the results. They are ready to push an initiative out the door before they even realize who it may (or may not) be touching.

        This issue of “Ready. Fire. Aim.” is something we’ve been battling forever. How do we help companies focus on the why and put the brakes on?
        .-= Mike Templeton´s last blog ..Cloaked in a Cotton Crew-Neck =-.

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

          No question Mike we’re in the middle of serious shiny object syndrome. It will fade (i hope).

  • Sue Densmore

    Jay – I tend to agree with you in principle. I am not dying to be friends with all these companies. But once in a while someone does it really well, and I find myself drawn to that company, more willing to try their product, or whatever. @CoffeeGroundz makes me wish I lived in Houston sometimes – there’s always something going on. I like that @comcastcares helped me out with an issue.

    So, there are people doing it right. But if a company is just jumping in because they feel like they have to, and they don’t have the right person working the accounts, then who cares? I don’t follow Coke, or Apple, or WalMart or other big companies who only broadcast ads. I do follow companies – and they tend to be smaller – where the account feels human.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Hi Sue. Thanks so much for the comment. I think your point about Comcast is a good one. It’s absolutely fantastic that they were able to solve your problem – excellent example of social CRM. But, are you interacting with Comcast routinely online now? Are you consuming content, advocating on behalf of the brand, etc? I think that’s the difference between circumstantial helpfulness, and long-term “friendship.” I love your point on humanity. I write about that a lot, and you’re exactly right. Nobody wants to be friends with a logo – they never buy drinks.

  • http://YourWebsite Sue Densmore

    Jay – I tend to agree with you in principle. I am not dying to be friends with all these companies. But once in a while someone does it really well, and I find myself drawn to that company, more willing to try their product, or whatever. @CoffeeGroundz makes me wish I lived in Houston sometimes – there’s always something going on. I like that @comcastcares helped me out with an issue.

    So, there are people doing it right. But if a company is just jumping in because they feel like they have to, and they don’t have the right person working the accounts, then who cares? I don’t follow Coke, or Apple, or WalMart or other big companies who only broadcast ads. I do follow companies – and they tend to be smaller – where the account feels human.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Hi Sue. Thanks so much for the comment. I think your point about Comcast is a good one. It’s absolutely fantastic that they were able to solve your problem – excellent example of social CRM. But, are you interacting with Comcast routinely online now? Are you consuming content, advocating on behalf of the brand, etc? I think that’s the difference between circumstantial helpfulness, and long-term “friendship.” I love your point on humanity. I write about that a lot, and you’re exactly right. Nobody wants to be friends with a logo – they never buy drinks.

  • Katrina Hollmann

    To me this actually ties in with the results of the Razorfish FEED survey that were just released (link to recap: http://bit.ly/3zcAIr).

    My understanding from that is similar to the comments from other readers already – customers want to fan brands, not friend them. And they really only want to fan them if it provides access to deals or information they may not otherwise receive.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Katrina, indeed the Razorfish study relates to this post. I’m planning on writing something directly about Razorfish report next week. I’m not sure I agree that Rationale = Coupon, however. Special doesn’t always have to be followed by “offer”. I’d hope that marketers can find a way to be helpful (find utility, as Stuart mentions above), and from there, you can bridge to a relationship. I guarantee that a series of discounts and special offers will never create a relationship beyond transactional.

      • Katrina Hollmann

        That’s a fair statement. Realistically the discounts and special offers are the way to get the attention, but providing quality content that helps them improve their product usage or quality of life is the way to keep them coming back. Should have included that in my previous comment.

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

          Thanks Katrina. Indeed, you can get them in with offers, but to keep them it has to be about people and usefulness. My post tomorrow is all about that approach.

  • http://YourWebsite Katrina Hollmann

    To me this actually ties in with the results of the Razorfish FEED survey that were just released (link to recap: http://bit.ly/3zcAIr).

    My understanding from that is similar to the comments from other readers already – customers want to fan brands, not friend them. And they really only want to fan them if it provides access to deals or information they may not otherwise receive.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Katrina, indeed the Razorfish study relates to this post. I’m planning on writing something directly about Razorfish report next week. I’m not sure I agree that Rationale = Coupon, however. Special doesn’t always have to be followed by “offer”. I’d hope that marketers can find a way to be helpful (find utility, as Stuart mentions above), and from there, you can bridge to a relationship. I guarantee that a series of discounts and special offers will never create a relationship beyond transactional.

      • http://YourWebsite Katrina Hollmann

        That’s a fair statement. Realistically the discounts and special offers are the way to get the attention, but providing quality content that helps them improve their product usage or quality of life is the way to keep them coming back. Should have included that in my previous comment.

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

          Thanks Katrina. Indeed, you can get them in with offers, but to keep them it has to be about people and usefulness. My post tomorrow is all about that approach.

  • http://writingblog.ventajamarketing.com/ John White

    “Why would customers want to connect with your company online?”

    To be the first to share something cool with their friends when it pops.

    Really.
    .-= John White´s last blog ..Hire a Church That Understands Valuable Content =-.

  • http://writingblog.ventajamarketing.com John White

    “Why would customers want to connect with your company online?”

    To be the first to share something cool with their friends when it pops.

    Really.
    .-= John White´s last blog ..Hire a Church That Understands Valuable Content =-.

  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    Jay –

    Similar to Ann, I’ve also been thinking about this a lot lately. While I agree with your thoughts, I have one to add to the mix. While customers may not want to be friends with the brand, I think they do crave personal friendship and camaraderie.

    As you know, I work for an Email Service Provider. Hardly a symbol of sex or excitement (I can say that, right?). I don’t think we have fans/followers/evangelists, etc because of the product or the company or b/c of what we do or sell. I think people love us because we are humans who don’t take ourselves too seriously, who have fun, who are available to help and to educate.

    I realize I’m on a bit of ramble, but those are the beginnings of my not-so-organized thoughts.

    Back to you. Do you agree?

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow
    .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..That Department Does Not Communicate Directly With Customers =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      DJ I agree completely. The social media success path has two components:

      1. Be useful
      2. Be human

      I can now delete the blog and get a job as a wine taster.

      • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

        No! Don’t do it, Jay. Please don’t “delete the blog.” But you may want to consider picking up another hobby…

        Thanks for your prompt reply…sarcastic as it was (the last sentence, that is).

        DJ Waldow
        Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
        @djwaldow
        .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..That Department Does Not Communicate Directly With Customers =-.

  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    Jay –

    Similar to Ann, I’ve also been thinking about this a lot lately. While I agree with your thoughts, I have one to add to the mix. While customers may not want to be friends with the brand, I think they do crave personal friendship and camaraderie.

    As you know, I work for an Email Service Provider. Hardly a symbol of sex or excitement (I can say that, right?). I don’t think we have fans/followers/evangelists, etc because of the product or the company or b/c of what we do or sell. I think people love us because we are humans who don’t take ourselves too seriously, who have fun, who are available to help and to educate.

    I realize I’m on a bit of ramble, but those are the beginnings of my not-so-organized thoughts.

    Back to you. Do you agree?

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow
    .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..That Department Does Not Communicate Directly With Customers =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      DJ I agree completely. The social media success path has two components:

      1. Be useful
      2. Be human

      I can now delete the blog and get a job as a wine taster.

      • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

        No! Don’t do it, Jay. Please don’t “delete the blog.” But you may want to consider picking up another hobby…

        Thanks for your prompt reply…sarcastic as it was (the last sentence, that is).

        DJ Waldow
        Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
        @djwaldow
        .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..That Department Does Not Communicate Directly With Customers =-.

  • http://www.SimpleMarketingBlog.com/ C.B. Whittemorec

    Jay, you bring up such a critical aspect of relationship building – online or offline. You have to earn the loyalty and interest of your customers. You can’t assume friendship – even with regular relationships. Doing so is fake. However, if you’re able to share real value & information consistently over time, then I believe you get closer to building and strengthening a relationship with customers. Friendship? Not sure that it is realistic.
    .-= C.B. Whittemorec´s last blog ..The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog: 6 Month Case Study =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Hi CB! Thanks so much for stopping by. I agree that true brand friendship may be a reach. But, advocacy that isn’t coupon-driven can be accomplished. People will pay for utility, and they’ll shout it from the rooftops on your behalf. You just have to figure out how your company can be truly useful to its customers on the social Web.

  • http://www.SimpleMarketingBlog.com C.B. Whittemorec

    Jay, you bring up such a critical aspect of relationship building – online or offline. You have to earn the loyalty and interest of your customers. You can’t assume friendship – even with regular relationships. Doing so is fake. However, if you’re able to share real value & information consistently over time, then I believe you get closer to building and strengthening a relationship with customers. Friendship? Not sure that it is realistic.
    .-= C.B. Whittemorec´s last blog ..The Carpet and Rug Institute Blog: 6 Month Case Study =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Hi CB! Thanks so much for stopping by. I agree that true brand friendship may be a reach. But, advocacy that isn’t coupon-driven can be accomplished. People will pay for utility, and they’ll shout it from the rooftops on your behalf. You just have to figure out how your company can be truly useful to its customers on the social Web.

  • http://areyousociallyacceptable.com/ Amanda

    I agree with the sentiment of the post, if not the tone. I worry sometimes the argument of do it “right”
    convinces SBOs and NPOs not to bother.

    I think you’re forgetting a small (and it is small) piece of the pie. Often, “friending” or “fanning” has an incremental value to the recipient in that it acts like a badge. “I like this” has a branding quality for the friender or follower, it creates content, etc. Its often such a small step that most are willing to take it. It’s another relationship and connection, another tick on their scoreboard of friends.

    So then the issue becomes not how to convince people that you have value, but how to NOT piss them off so they go away. Once they’re a fan or friend, you really are working to not push them away, because again, its unlikely they’ll bother to defriend or defan unless you do.

    In which case, i wonder if the Mother test is a good one. I usually just advise “consider this: why would anyone give a shit?” (i really need to engage my own censor fulltime). Don’t overpost, post irrelevant stuff, post stuff that doesn’t make people think, laugh or get angry, or post without a call to action.

    Otherwise known as: welcome to my daily struggle.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Hi Amanda. Thanks as always for the comment. I wasn’t trying to be a wet blanket, or overly negative. Just trying to emphasize how critical it is to have a social media plan that goes beyond setting up a Facebook page.

      And I really like your point about the social value of fanning brands (more so on Facebook because it’s visible). It’s the post-modern equivalent of a bumper sticker.

      But, driving people away and not giving those people a reason to take action and advocate for you is a difference without a distinction for me. As I’ve written here, you have to activate your customers, not just collect them like baseball cards. I’m not sure having 500 or 5,000 or 50,000 customers that have fanned the company on Facebook has much core business value.

      • http://areyousociallyacceptable.com/ Amanda

        Oh I don’t think I’m arguing for inaction at all. And you’re right, the origin of argument is the same. But the approach is different. When people are consumed with content creation and giving people value, they often give them fluffy, worthless crap. If you approach it from “don’t piss them off… give them value that has ACTUAL value” I think its more effective.
        .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Can someone really learn “How to Blog”? =-.

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

          No question. Content isn’t king. Relevant content is king. Just ask your mom ;)

  • http://areyousociallyacceptable.com Amanda

    I agree with the sentiment of the post, if not the tone. I worry sometimes the argument of do it “right”
    convinces SBOs and NPOs not to bother.

    I think you’re forgetting a small (and it is small) piece of the pie. Often, “friending” or “fanning” has an incremental value to the recipient in that it acts like a badge. “I like this” has a branding quality for the friender or follower, it creates content, etc. Its often such a small step that most are willing to take it. It’s another relationship and connection, another tick on their scoreboard of friends.

    So then the issue becomes not how to convince people that you have value, but how to NOT piss them off so they go away. Once they’re a fan or friend, you really are working to not push them away, because again, its unlikely they’ll bother to defriend or defan unless you do.

    In which case, i wonder if the Mother test is a good one. I usually just advise “consider this: why would anyone give a shit?” (i really need to engage my own censor fulltime). Don’t overpost, post irrelevant stuff, post stuff that doesn’t make people think, laugh or get angry, or post without a call to action.

    Otherwise known as: welcome to my daily struggle.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Hi Amanda. Thanks as always for the comment. I wasn’t trying to be a wet blanket, or overly negative. Just trying to emphasize how critical it is to have a social media plan that goes beyond setting up a Facebook page.

      And I really like your point about the social value of fanning brands (more so on Facebook because it’s visible). It’s the post-modern equivalent of a bumper sticker.

      But, driving people away and not giving those people a reason to take action and advocate for you is a difference without a distinction for me. As I’ve written here, you have to activate your customers, not just collect them like baseball cards. I’m not sure having 500 or 5,000 or 50,000 customers that have fanned the company on Facebook has much core business value.

      • http://areyousociallyacceptable.com Amanda

        Oh I don’t think I’m arguing for inaction at all. And you’re right, the origin of argument is the same. But the approach is different. When people are consumed with content creation and giving people value, they often give them fluffy, worthless crap. If you approach it from “don’t piss them off… give them value that has ACTUAL value” I think its more effective.
        .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Can someone really learn “How to Blog”? =-.

        • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

          No question. Content isn’t king. Relevant content is king. Just ask your mom ;)

  • http://www.always-thinking.com/ Tim Otis

    Jay-
    It’s all about new knowledge, new depth. If a company– whether the content being on-brand or off-brand– provides some point of differentiation or niche, it will resonate with customers, which will then lead to fans. It may not be the messaging the company expected, but it satisfies the customer. And in an age filled with ‘blunt consumerism’, companies will have less of a voice and will need to listen to customers throughout the entire social media transaction.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Thanks for the comment Tim. I hear you. It’s tough to break through now. Consumers are besieged. But, I’m not sure it’s differentiation so much as usefulness. Perhaps being useful and helpful are really what differentiates a company these days? Hmmmm.

      • http://www.always-thinking.com/ Tim Otis

        It’s as simple as that, huh? :) Companies just need to become more ‘leveled’ with consumers i.e. anticipate needs, talk with them (not at them), and just be a resource.

  • http://www.always-thinking.com Tim Otis

    Jay-
    It’s all about new knowledge, new depth. If a company– whether the content being on-brand or off-brand– provides some point of differentiation or niche, it will resonate with customers, which will then lead to fans. It may not be the messaging the company expected, but it satisfies the customer. And in an age filled with ‘blunt consumerism’, companies will have less of a voice and will need to listen to customers throughout the entire social media transaction.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Thanks for the comment Tim. I hear you. It’s tough to break through now. Consumers are besieged. But, I’m not sure it’s differentiation so much as usefulness. Perhaps being useful and helpful are really what differentiates a company these days? Hmmmm.

      • http://www.always-thinking.com Tim Otis

        It’s as simple as that, huh? :) Companies just need to become more ‘leveled’ with consumers i.e. anticipate needs, talk with them (not at them), and just be a resource.

  • http://www.marketingfray.blogspot.com/ Kevin Clancy

    I was just reading an article by Don Schultz that marketers no longer control enough of the conversation so the concept of positioning is no longer relevant.

    Now I’d define “positioning” as the reason you give to folks to care about your product or service. You might define as the “rationale” for using/choosing/advocating for your brand. And I think you’ve nailed it–it’s totally presumptuous to believe that just because you have a brand–even one that’s established–you’ll have a whole lot of people talking about it if you are consistenly giving them a reason.
    .-= Kevin Clancy´s last blog ..RIP: Wal-Mart’s Casket Experience Offers Lessons in Social Media Monitoring =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Thanks Kevin. I appreciate it. Indeed, just having a company and setting up a Facebook page isn’t going to cut it.

  • http://www.marketingfray.blogspot.com/ Kevin Clancy

    I was just reading an article by Don Schultz that marketers no longer control enough of the conversation so the concept of positioning is no longer relevant.

    Now I’d define “positioning” as the reason you give to folks to care about your product or service. You might define as the “rationale” for using/choosing/advocating for your brand. And I think you’ve nailed it–it’s totally presumptuous to believe that just because you have a brand–even one that’s established–you’ll have a whole lot of people talking about it if you are consistenly giving them a reason.
    .-= Kevin Clancy´s last blog ..RIP: Wal-Mart’s Casket Experience Offers Lessons in Social Media Monitoring =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Thanks Kevin. I appreciate it. Indeed, just having a company and setting up a Facebook page isn’t going to cut it.

  • Chris Book

    To an extent, it will always be “what’s in it for me?” And that’s fine, but too many marketers utilizing social are asking that question for themselves instead of answering it for their customers.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Oh man. That’s so well put, it hurts. I’d like to do an analysis of how much ink has been spilled around “social media ROI” for the company, rather than the consumer. Thanks for making that point crystal clear Chris.

  • http://YourWebsite Chris Book

    To an extent, it will always be “what’s in it for me?” And that’s fine, but too many marketers utilizing social are asking that question for themselves instead of answering it for their customers.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Oh man. That’s so well put, it hurts. I’d like to do an analysis of how much ink has been spilled around “social media ROI” for the company, rather than the consumer. Thanks for making that point crystal clear Chris.

  • http://www.wheatleytimmons.com/ Robert Wheatley

    Seems to me the litmus test of engagement begins with relevance. Meaning the relationship starts when brands understand how to become enablers of lifestyle interests and passions their customers hold dear. Overt selling just won’t cut it. I see it as a form of reciprocity. And it starts with earning the right to a relationship by working very hard to imbue your brand with more meaning.

    It’s a sort of “higher purpose” that begins to treat customer relationships not as transactions but more so as friendships. So if my communication is focused on the customer’s lifestyle interests I have a better chance of mattering to them. Everything else is a commodity and bought on price.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      I agree Robert. That’s what scares me about all this talk of discounts leading the social media charge. It’s just not sustainable.

  • http://www.wheatleytimmons.com Robert Wheatley

    Seems to me the litmus test of engagement begins with relevance. Meaning the relationship starts when brands understand how to become enablers of lifestyle interests and passions their customers hold dear. Overt selling just won’t cut it. I see it as a form of reciprocity. And it starts with earning the right to a relationship by working very hard to imbue your brand with more meaning.

    It’s a sort of “higher purpose” that begins to treat customer relationships not as transactions but more so as friendships. So if my communication is focused on the customer’s lifestyle interests I have a better chance of mattering to them. Everything else is a commodity and bought on price.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      I agree Robert. That’s what scares me about all this talk of discounts leading the social media charge. It’s just not sustainable.

  • http://alasdairmunn.com/ Alasdair Munn

    I appreciate the message and generally agree.

    As with the general term ‘social media’ there is a sense of confusion around terms such as friends, fans, followers etc. People become friends with people on Facebook because that is what it is called. Similar with fans on Facebook fan pages or followers on Twitter. When I follow someone on Twitter, I do not consider myself to be one of their ‘followers’. I think of it as having their Twitter feed on my radar. How I organize that information, and how much attention I give to it, is up to me.

    This is where your point comes in. In order to grab my attention, ensure I pay attention and for me to feel ‘engaged’ would require a brand or organization to provide content that I would consider as adding value and/or hold some sort of contextual relevance.

    There is no hard and fast rule here and it is not something that can be prescribed. That’s the nature of context and relevance. But we can look towards an approach, a philosophy, and follow basic principles such as transparency, honesty, added value, listening and acting on what we have heard.
    .-= Alasdair Munn´s last blog ..Open Source, More Than A Bunch of Software =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Alasdair, you raise an excellent point about the word choice of social media. “Fans” “Friends” and “Followers” are not the best description for the relationships forged on the social Web. But given how many companies are using number of Facebook fans as a success metric, you’d think they all had literal meaning.

  • http://alasdairmunn.com Alasdair Munn

    I appreciate the message and generally agree.

    As with the general term ‘social media’ there is a sense of confusion around terms such as friends, fans, followers etc. People become friends with people on Facebook because that is what it is called. Similar with fans on Facebook fan pages or followers on Twitter. When I follow someone on Twitter, I do not consider myself to be one of their ‘followers’. I think of it as having their Twitter feed on my radar. How I organize that information, and how much attention I give to it, is up to me.

    This is where your point comes in. In order to grab my attention, ensure I pay attention and for me to feel ‘engaged’ would require a brand or organization to provide content that I would consider as adding value and/or hold some sort of contextual relevance.

    There is no hard and fast rule here and it is not something that can be prescribed. That’s the nature of context and relevance. But we can look towards an approach, a philosophy, and follow basic principles such as transparency, honesty, added value, listening and acting on what we have heard.
    .-= Alasdair Munn´s last blog ..Open Source, More Than A Bunch of Software =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Alasdair, you raise an excellent point about the word choice of social media. “Fans” “Friends” and “Followers” are not the best description for the relationships forged on the social Web. But given how many companies are using number of Facebook fans as a success metric, you’d think they all had literal meaning.

  • http://www.sonnygill.com/ Sonny Gill

    Jay – great points here and agree there has to be some sort of sustainable value there for customers to want to maintain the relationship. It relates to my post today (and what we talked about yesterday about the Razorfish study) about the ‘bribery economy’ and whether companies in the social space utilizing exclusive offers have a long-term model vs. exclusive content that provides value and serves a need for their customers. Big difference, IMO.

    Thanks for touching on another side of this story.
    .-= Sonny Gill´s last blog ..do we live in a bribery economy? =-.

  • http://www.sonnygill.com Sonny Gill

    Jay – great points here and agree there has to be some sort of sustainable value there for customers to want to maintain the relationship. It relates to my post today (and what we talked about yesterday about the Razorfish study) about the ‘bribery economy’ and whether companies in the social space utilizing exclusive offers have a long-term model vs. exclusive content that provides value and serves a need for their customers. Big difference, IMO.

    Thanks for touching on another side of this story.
    .-= Sonny Gill´s last blog ..do we live in a bribery economy? =-.

  • Paul DeLuca

    Thought provoking article. My mom is 78 and her Facebook statuses are thing like “Hanging curtains”, so I’m not sure the mom test works for everyone, but your point of objective feedback is taken. I think marketers have to answer another question that’s even more fundamental to the customer relationship: Why do people buy from us? If we understand why they buy, we will have better insight into how and why they will connect with us in any medium.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Actually, I think your mom is a perfect test. What would it take to get her excited about a company? A lot, right? That’s the whole point.

      And you’re spot on that audience segmentation and needs analysis is sorely lacking in most companies. That’s why I’m excited about the segmentation work being done by my friend Susan Baier at http://www.audienceaudit.com Check it out, I think you’ll dig it.

  • http://YourWebsite Paul DeLuca

    Thought provoking article. My mom is 78 and her Facebook statuses are thing like “Hanging curtains”, so I’m not sure the mom test works for everyone, but your point of objective feedback is taken. I think marketers have to answer another question that’s even more fundamental to the customer relationship: Why do people buy from us? If we understand why they buy, we will have better insight into how and why they will connect with us in any medium.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Actually, I think your mom is a perfect test. What would it take to get her excited about a company? A lot, right? That’s the whole point.

      And you’re spot on that audience segmentation and needs analysis is sorely lacking in most companies. That’s why I’m excited about the segmentation work being done by my friend Susan Baier at http://www.audienceaudit.com Check it out, I think you’ll dig it.

  • http://www.justincaseuyouwerewondering.x.iabc.com/ Justin Goldsborough

    Good food for thought, Jay. I agree that people aren’t actively looking to connect with brand via social media, but they are always looking to make that personal connection, right?

    Isn’t it the brands that facilitate connecting with other people and tell stories about their employees and customers that will stand out in people’s minds?

    When I advocate for Southwest Airlines, I talk about the people I know there, the people in their “no bag fees” commercials, how their people are always willing to help.

    And oh yeah, the low fares too. Price can cause affinity to. At least that’s my two cents. Yours?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      I agree. Utility without humanity fails. Humanity without utility fails. Gotta have both (and a strategy).

  • http://www.justincaseuyouwerewondering.x.iabc.com Justin Goldsborough

    Good food for thought, Jay. I agree that people aren’t actively looking to connect with brand via social media, but they are always looking to make that personal connection, right?

    Isn’t it the brands that facilitate connecting with other people and tell stories about their employees and customers that will stand out in people’s minds?

    When I advocate for Southwest Airlines, I talk about the people I know there, the people in their “no bag fees” commercials, how their people are always willing to help.

    And oh yeah, the low fares too. Price can cause affinity to. At least that’s my two cents. Yours?

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      I agree. Utility without humanity fails. Humanity without utility fails. Gotta have both (and a strategy).

  • http://designtramp.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    I think that the role, or function, that social media can play is to achieve a level of organic growth difficult to cultivate in traditional marketing. Participating in a way that allows people/consumers/clients to participate in a new way, whether it’s advance notice of sales or roll outs, or through a less structured voice (note, I am not saying unscripted or unplanned to a certain extent.) It just seems that the impulse to start for the sake of starting sometimes trumps logic. Beyond that, the rigorous doing and adhering to a plan can detract from the potential to actually respond in the give and take, listen and respond richness inherent in social media.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Not always about winning =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Great comment Amanda. Thank you. I hope that having a strategy isn’t the enemy of spontaneity, but rather an enabler of spontaneity. If you know firmly why you’re involved in social media, I find the atomic level questions are a lot easier to answer – not harder.

  • http://designtramp.blogspot.com Amanda

    I think that the role, or function, that social media can play is to achieve a level of organic growth difficult to cultivate in traditional marketing. Participating in a way that allows people/consumers/clients to participate in a new way, whether it’s advance notice of sales or roll outs, or through a less structured voice (note, I am not saying unscripted or unplanned to a certain extent.) It just seems that the impulse to start for the sake of starting sometimes trumps logic. Beyond that, the rigorous doing and adhering to a plan can detract from the potential to actually respond in the give and take, listen and respond richness inherent in social media.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Not always about winning =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Great comment Amanda. Thank you. I hope that having a strategy isn’t the enemy of spontaneity, but rather an enabler of spontaneity. If you know firmly why you’re involved in social media, I find the atomic level questions are a lot easier to answer – not harder.

  • http://community.intellicore-design.com/ Kathy Herrmann

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks for feeding the social media discussion and you’re wise observation. Guess I come at my thoughts less from a marketing perspective and more from that of a busy businesswoman.

    Many (most?) people aren’t going to want to be friends or fans with a company. They’ll tap into a company’s social media channel when they have a problem to solve, have an opportunity to exploit, or are looking for insight/information. They’ll get what they need and then move on until the next problem or opportunity crops up and they’ll be back to tap in again.

    That will be true even for many of the coolio brands.

    So the answer becomes, don’t just look at social media for marketing purposes, look at the full range of why a customer will seek out your company on social media. Be sure you understand the service or support demands because they may provide the greater motivation than fanning a brand.

    My 2 cents.
    .-= Kathy Herrmann´s last blog ..Here’s a way to determine social media ROI =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Kathy there’s a really good perspective in your comment. Will the brand to consumer relationship be “point in time” oriented? I need help, I get help. I need a coupon, I get a coupon. Maybe that’s the way this is all going to turn out. I’d like to think great marketers can build relationships with customers that transcend the transactional, requiring them to create excellent, relevant content. We’ll see.

  • http://www.radian6.com/ Amber Naslund

    I heart you. This gets at a point that has bugged me for ages and ages.

    We are completely myopic about our own brands. Always. No amount of “differentiators” or “core values” or “value add” means any different. We get so wrapped around our own axles because we are mired in our own trenches, day after day, so we see the subtlest variations or clever approaches to our marketing as groundbreaking and transformational, sure to get us a zillion more customers/fans/advocates/whatevers.

    But dammit. It’s a big world out there, and our attention is as fractured as ever. The personal connection from your customer’s perspective is and always HAS been what seals it. Not the gimmick or the campaign or what YOU think makes you awesome.

    Be useful. Helpful. Personable. And quit trying to get everyone to drink your happy kool-aid. Give them experiences, something to identify with. From their vantage point, not yours. And they will choose for themselves. If you’ve done well to create something worth being involved with, the rest sort of takes care of itself, now doesn’t it?
    .-= Amber Naslund´s last blog ..The Engaged Brand Twebinar With Dix & Eaton, 12 Nov at 2pm EST =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Bingo. I heart you too. Ultimately, the best marketing is to deliver outrageously great utility. Operations = marketing now. And that’s a good news/bad news situation.

  • http://www.radian6.com Amber Naslund

    I heart you. This gets at a point that has bugged me for ages and ages.

    We are completely myopic about our own brands. Always. No amount of “differentiators” or “core values” or “value add” means any different. We get so wrapped around our own axles because we are mired in our own trenches, day after day, so we see the subtlest variations or clever approaches to our marketing as groundbreaking and transformational, sure to get us a zillion more customers/fans/advocates/whatevers.

    But dammit. It’s a big world out there, and our attention is as fractured as ever. The personal connection from your customer’s perspective is and always HAS been what seals it. Not the gimmick or the campaign or what YOU think makes you awesome.

    Be useful. Helpful. Personable. And quit trying to get everyone to drink your happy kool-aid. Give them experiences, something to identify with. From their vantage point, not yours. And they will choose for themselves. If you’ve done well to create something worth being involved with, the rest sort of takes care of itself, now doesn’t it?
    .-= Amber Naslund´s last blog ..The Engaged Brand Twebinar With Dix & Eaton, 12 Nov at 2pm EST =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Bingo. I heart you too. Ultimately, the best marketing is to deliver outrageously great utility. Operations = marketing now. And that’s a good news/bad news situation.

  • http://community.intellicore-design.com Kathy Herrmann

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks for feeding the social media discussion and you’re wise observation. Guess I come at my thoughts less from a marketing perspective and more from that of a busy businesswoman.

    Many (most?) people aren’t going to want to be friends or fans with a company. They’ll tap into a company’s social media channel when they have a problem to solve, have an opportunity to exploit, or are looking for insight/information. They’ll get what they need and then move on until the next problem or opportunity crops up and they’ll be back to tap in again.

    That will be true even for many of the coolio brands.

    So the answer becomes, don’t just look at social media for marketing purposes, look at the full range of why a customer will seek out your company on social media. Be sure you understand the service or support demands because they may provide the greater motivation than fanning a brand.

    My 2 cents.
    .-= Kathy Herrmann´s last blog ..Here’s a way to determine social media ROI =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Kathy there’s a really good perspective in your comment. Will the brand to consumer relationship be “point in time” oriented? I need help, I get help. I need a coupon, I get a coupon. Maybe that’s the way this is all going to turn out. I’d like to think great marketers can build relationships with customers that transcend the transactional, requiring them to create excellent, relevant content. We’ll see.

  • http://twitter.com/keithtrivitt Keith Trivitt

    Jay – Interesting post. I agree with you – in principle on many points, but I’m not quite sure I agree with this statement: “You must make the case to the customer that by NOT connecting with you, they are missing out on something of value.”

    To me, that statement strikes of the type of authoritative marketing and “you would be foolish not to buy our product” sentiment that was heavily done before technology and social media allowed all of us to realize that we can have a dialogue and conversations with our customers without trying to put them their place.

    Certainly, we need to realize that not everyone is going to want to view the content that we are creating, or engage with our brands online, but I think there is still a relatively large – and in many cases – untapped swath of audiences within many industries that are actively seeking new content and ways to engage with brands.

    Look at the sports business. There, fans, or what we would call consumers in any other industry, ARE actively seeking new content, whether that be reading a blog post from their favorite athlete, or doing a Twitter chat with the team’s CMO. The key is to give people the content THEY want, not the content you think they want or your marketing department tells you it wants so it can use that for sales material.

    Provide people with the information they want and a venue to view/receive it in, and in many cases, the audience will appreciate that content and keep coming back for more.

    @KeithTrivitt

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Keith I think we’re actually on the same page. Marketers are too focused on trying to figure out how social media helps THEM, and not focused enough on how social media helps the CUSTOMER. Get that solved, and the content creation strategy and other components become a lot clearer.

  • http://twitter.com/keithtrivitt Keith Trivitt

    Jay – Interesting post. I agree with you – in principle on many points, but I’m not quite sure I agree with this statement: “You must make the case to the customer that by NOT connecting with you, they are missing out on something of value.”

    To me, that statement strikes of the type of authoritative marketing and “you would be foolish not to buy our product” sentiment that was heavily done before technology and social media allowed all of us to realize that we can have a dialogue and conversations with our customers without trying to put them their place.

    Certainly, we need to realize that not everyone is going to want to view the content that we are creating, or engage with our brands online, but I think there is still a relatively large – and in many cases – untapped swath of audiences within many industries that are actively seeking new content and ways to engage with brands.

    Look at the sports business. There, fans, or what we would call consumers in any other industry, ARE actively seeking new content, whether that be reading a blog post from their favorite athlete, or doing a Twitter chat with the team’s CMO. The key is to give people the content THEY want, not the content you think they want or your marketing department tells you it wants so it can use that for sales material.

    Provide people with the information they want and a venue to view/receive it in, and in many cases, the audience will appreciate that content and keep coming back for more.

    @KeithTrivitt

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Keith I think we’re actually on the same page. Marketers are too focused on trying to figure out how social media helps THEM, and not focused enough on how social media helps the CUSTOMER. Get that solved, and the content creation strategy and other components become a lot clearer.

  • http://directmarketingobservations.com/ Marc Meyer

    Jay, what would people do if they had access to a superstar athlete? What is the expectation? Friendship? Is being a superstar reason enough to be their friend? Sadly, both sides would come to the conclusion rather quickly that neither has anything in common with the other. Fans enamored with jerseys and the “sizzle”.

    Just like brands and their customers. superficial.

    Relationships with brands have always been mostly one way. Me having a relationship with them. I’m afraid most people would not know what to do with a brand that wanted to sleep with them.

    Good news. Brands want to sleep with you now.

    Bad News, Just like you said, the customer doesn’t want to be your friend. So now what?
    .-= Marc Meyer´s last blog ..Social Media Solution #98-Make your own Kool-Aid in a down economy =-.

  • http://directmarketingobservations.com/ Marc Meyer

    Jay, what would people do if they had access to a superstar athlete? What is the expectation? Friendship? Is being a superstar reason enough to be their friend? Sadly, both sides would come to the conclusion rather quickly that neither has anything in common with the other. Fans enamored with jerseys and the “sizzle”.

    Just like brands and their customers. superficial.

    Relationships with brands have always been mostly one way. Me having a relationship with them. I’m afraid most people would not know what to do with a brand that wanted to sleep with them.

    Good news. Brands want to sleep with you now.

    Bad News, Just like you said, the customer doesn’t want to be your friend. So now what?
    .-= Marc Meyer´s last blog ..Social Media Solution #98-Make your own Kool-Aid in a down economy =-.

  • http://fwd.mbooth.com/ Andrea

    Absolutely agree about this, especially in an age when customers are at least savvy enough to realize that they’re being marketed to. If you’re offering something of value in that relationship, sure they’ll hop on board, but usually not just because of straight brand appreciation.

    Thanks for getting this discussion going. Great insight here!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Andrea I think straight brand appreciation is possible, but only in the context of a relationship built on value. That’s what I was trying to convey with the original post. You have to think value exchange first, and then move on from there. Dinner, movie, hold hands, kissing, etc. Most brands assume consumers want to go straight to the alter. They don’t.

  • http://fwd.mbooth.com Andrea

    Absolutely agree about this, especially in an age when customers are at least savvy enough to realize that they’re being marketed to. If you’re offering something of value in that relationship, sure they’ll hop on board, but usually not just because of straight brand appreciation.

    Thanks for getting this discussion going. Great insight here!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Andrea I think straight brand appreciation is possible, but only in the context of a relationship built on value. That’s what I was trying to convey with the original post. You have to think value exchange first, and then move on from there. Dinner, movie, hold hands, kissing, etc. Most brands assume consumers want to go straight to the alter. They don’t.

  • http://www.bossey.com/ Keith Bossey

    Jay, I think you’re onto something here. If your company is just replacing its traditional marketing efforts with similar efforts disguised as “social”, its not going to work. In order to be my friend, you actually have to know something about me, more than just the fact that I use your product and come to your website 2.4 times per month. Even really great content isn’t going to do it because that is just the TV model shifted to a new medium (content for ads). I don’t have the answer, but it feels like we’re really still early in this game and nobody has it figured out yet (so its certainly not time to pack up your blog and go home, good consultants are getting more essential!) What hasn’t changed, and most likely won’t, is that innovative, successful companies try to learn a lot about who their customers are and WHY they buy what they buy.
    .-= Keith Bossey´s last blog ..Sometimes, even the tools don’t matter… =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Keith you put it exactly right. For so many companies, social media is just another distribution vehicle for content that is rarely relevant. That’s not going to fly. Too easy to tune them out, because social media is 100% opt-in.

      I think great content can help, if “great” = relevant to what I want/need.

      But you’re dead on in that individualized attention in social media is where all of this is headed. I wrote a post about that the other day. Facebook is helping us get there (in theory) but showing you only News Feed items that are “relevant” to your interests. Big trend a’ brewing. 1:1 content distribution.

  • http://www.bossey.com Keith Bossey

    Jay, I think you’re onto something here. If your company is just replacing its traditional marketing efforts with similar efforts disguised as “social”, its not going to work. In order to be my friend, you actually have to know something about me, more than just the fact that I use your product and come to your website 2.4 times per month. Even really great content isn’t going to do it because that is just the TV model shifted to a new medium (content for ads). I don’t have the answer, but it feels like we’re really still early in this game and nobody has it figured out yet (so its certainly not time to pack up your blog and go home, good consultants are getting more essential!) What hasn’t changed, and most likely won’t, is that innovative, successful companies try to learn a lot about who their customers are and WHY they buy what they buy.
    .-= Keith Bossey´s last blog ..Sometimes, even the tools don’t matter… =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Keith you put it exactly right. For so many companies, social media is just another distribution vehicle for content that is rarely relevant. That’s not going to fly. Too easy to tune them out, because social media is 100% opt-in.

      I think great content can help, if “great” = relevant to what I want/need.

      But you’re dead on in that individualized attention in social media is where all of this is headed. I wrote a post about that the other day. Facebook is helping us get there (in theory) but showing you only News Feed items that are “relevant” to your interests. Big trend a’ brewing. 1:1 content distribution.

  • http://www.talentonview.com/ Lisa Scales

    You are right your customers dont want to be your friend however they do want somewhere to let rip when they are tetchy, praise when you are good and give feedback on improvements/ideas – sounds like the basis of a friendship to me?

    Our white label community platform @tribepad is the vehicle for all these and yes content is king but its all the other social media tools that make your “friends” sit on your doorstep, have conversations and become a loyal friend to your brand.

  • http://www.talentonview.com Lisa Scales

    You are right your customers dont want to be your friend however they do want somewhere to let rip when they are tetchy, praise when you are good and give feedback on improvements/ideas – sounds like the basis of a friendship to me?

    Our white label community platform @tribepad is the vehicle for all these and yes content is king but its all the other social media tools that make your “friends” sit on your doorstep, have conversations and become a loyal friend to your brand.

  • Caroline Sober

    Thank you for an excellent post, Jay. I’m a sometime lurker, first time commenter. Found you via @AmberCadabra, who I think is pretty groovy.

    Your post gets to the heart of what I think is one of the major misunderstandings about why companies do social media. For most companies, the key most definitely is NOT to become your customer’s BFF. It’s about being useful at the can opener level. When your customers ask “what have you done for me lately?,” you have to have a compelling answer. A guy named David S. Platt wrote a really fun little usability/software design book I read a while back called “Why Software Sucks,” and one of the memes I took from it was: “Your customers don’t want to use your software. They want to HAVE USED your software.” I think the same notion might apply very well to social interactions between companies & customers. Customers want to HAVE INTERACTED with you. And gotten something valuable out of it. So quit trying to be so gimmicky and cute and just be useful.

    I do feel compelled to note that “someone who believes in you disproportionately” should probably not include your dog. I ran what turned out to be a totally stupid idea by mine the other day and she thumped her tail wildly on the floor, gave me schmoopie eyes and laid her chin on my knee, all while falling madly in love with me all over again. The canines cannot be trusted for objectivity.

    Thanks again for the post,
    Caroline / @wildwend

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      First, @ambercadabra is entirely groovy, and one of my very favorite people, online or offline.

      I love the analogy of having used the software, instead of using it. I’m going to buy that book – sounds like it’s right up my alley (my online marketing background is in Web site strategy and user-centered navigation).

      As to your dog, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I have a post on here (with a video) that shows me eating Snasauges to prove a point about crowd-sourcing your product development. Show the pooch, he’ll love it.

  • http://YourWebsite Caroline Sober

    Thank you for an excellent post, Jay. I’m a sometime lurker, first time commenter. Found you via @AmberCadabra, who I think is pretty groovy.

    Your post gets to the heart of what I think is one of the major misunderstandings about why companies do social media. For most companies, the key most definitely is NOT to become your customer’s BFF. It’s about being useful at the can opener level. When your customers ask “what have you done for me lately?,” you have to have a compelling answer. A guy named David S. Platt wrote a really fun little usability/software design book I read a while back called “Why Software Sucks,” and one of the memes I took from it was: “Your customers don’t want to use your software. They want to HAVE USED your software.” I think the same notion might apply very well to social interactions between companies & customers. Customers want to HAVE INTERACTED with you. And gotten something valuable out of it. So quit trying to be so gimmicky and cute and just be useful.

    I do feel compelled to note that “someone who believes in you disproportionately” should probably not include your dog. I ran what turned out to be a totally stupid idea by mine the other day and she thumped her tail wildly on the floor, gave me schmoopie eyes and laid her chin on my knee, all while falling madly in love with me all over again. The canines cannot be trusted for objectivity.

    Thanks again for the post,
    Caroline / @wildwend

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      First, @ambercadabra is entirely groovy, and one of my very favorite people, online or offline.

      I love the analogy of having used the software, instead of using it. I’m going to buy that book – sounds like it’s right up my alley (my online marketing background is in Web site strategy and user-centered navigation).

      As to your dog, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I have a post on here (with a video) that shows me eating Snasauges to prove a point about crowd-sourcing your product development. Show the pooch, he’ll love it.

  • Michelle

    Spot on, Jay. I can’t be friends with a brand, nor with its fictional icon, nor with its “spokesperson” (whose updates are written by an intern). The only reasons I might clutter up my social media feeds with brand-related updates are:
    1. Amazing contests or giveaways, like a contest to win a year’s supply of bacon (not a printable bacon bookmark) or a way to snag swag with no strings (free, not $1 off; not a small-print commitment to membership in the useless-product-of-the-month club).
    2. Really funny/clever apps or media that I want to be clever enough to circulate to my real friends.
    3. Really fast, customized help (like that Wine Spectator app)
    4. Hot tips on new products/technologies of monumental interest
    If I can get all of these things succinctly, I may stay a friend/fan/follower. However, 30 tweets/hr about what the brand or its spokesperson is doing (“The BrandX Hyena is going to be at Grand Central Station” – Unless I live nearby and would go out of my way to see a Hyena, why do I care?; “Ad Age just named BrandX as the 12th most recognized brand” – So what?), endless customer testimonials (“BrandX restored a like-new shine to my floor AND makes a tasty dessert topping!” – It shouldn’t be news that your product actually works), or tips for idiots (“Here’s a tip on how to use our product” – I’ll check the manual or your web site, thanks) will just irritate me, especially if they are highly repetitive and aren’t worthy of real-time push communications.

    I have yet to find a brand for which I want to be a fan/follower on FB or Twitter. As a customer, I’m just not that into brands.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      New advice, people. Don’t ask your mom. Ask Michelle. If she digs it, it WILL work.

    • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

      Michelle –

      I’ve now read your comments 3x. I think I’m on the same page as you, but maybe not entirely. I sometimes struggle w/ what you are talking about as it relates to the @blueskyfactory twitter account (which I manage and tweet for).

      As I mentioned in an earlier comment, we’re an Email Service Provider … not all that sexy. We don’t give away a ton of stuff, yet we do listen and engage in the email marketing community. We do provide links to email-related content and industry news. We also do our best to be human and have fun and be thought leaders in our space.

      Does all of that equate to us having more fans/followers? I’m not sure yet. Does it mean that our more people will recommend us or buy our stuff? I hope so, but again, not sure…yet.

      *Would love to know who you are (twitter, blog, etc) so we can connect online.

      DJ Waldow
      Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
      @djwaldow
      .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..That Department Does Not Communicate Directly With Customers =-.

  • http://YourWebsite Michelle

    Spot on, Jay. I can’t be friends with a brand, nor with its fictional icon, nor with its “spokesperson” (whose updates are written by an intern). The only reasons I might clutter up my social media feeds with brand-related updates are:
    1. Amazing contests or giveaways, like a contest to win a year’s supply of bacon (not a printable bacon bookmark) or a way to snag swag with no strings (free, not $1 off; not a small-print commitment to membership in the useless-product-of-the-month club).
    2. Really funny/clever apps or media that I want to be clever enough to circulate to my real friends.
    3. Really fast, customized help (like that Wine Spectator app)
    4. Hot tips on new products/technologies of monumental interest
    If I can get all of these things succinctly, I may stay a friend/fan/follower. However, 30 tweets/hr about what the brand or its spokesperson is doing (“The BrandX Hyena is going to be at Grand Central Station” – Unless I live nearby and would go out of my way to see a Hyena, why do I care?; “Ad Age just named BrandX as the 12th most recognized brand” – So what?), endless customer testimonials (“BrandX restored a like-new shine to my floor AND makes a tasty dessert topping!” – It shouldn’t be news that your product actually works), or tips for idiots (“Here’s a tip on how to use our product” – I’ll check the manual or your web site, thanks) will just irritate me, especially if they are highly repetitive and aren’t worthy of real-time push communications.

    I have yet to find a brand for which I want to be a fan/follower on FB or Twitter. As a customer, I’m just not that into brands.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      New advice, people. Don’t ask your mom. Ask Michelle. If she digs it, it WILL work.

    • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

      Michelle –

      I’ve now read your comments 3x. I think I’m on the same page as you, but maybe not entirely. I sometimes struggle w/ what you are talking about as it relates to the @blueskyfactory twitter account (which I manage and tweet for).

      As I mentioned in an earlier comment, we’re an Email Service Provider … not all that sexy. We don’t give away a ton of stuff, yet we do listen and engage in the email marketing community. We do provide links to email-related content and industry news. We also do our best to be human and have fun and be thought leaders in our space.

      Does all of that equate to us having more fans/followers? I’m not sure yet. Does it mean that our more people will recommend us or buy our stuff? I hope so, but again, not sure…yet.

      *Would love to know who you are (twitter, blog, etc) so we can connect online.

      DJ Waldow
      Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
      @djwaldow
      .-= DJ Waldow´s last blog ..That Department Does Not Communicate Directly With Customers =-.

  • http://www.jeffersonstolarship.com/ Jeff Stolarcyk

    Truth to power. I talk to small businesses about going social and they have aspirations of being Amazon or Dell or @shitmydadsays, even. Now it’s certainly possible to get that level of traction if the account manages to have a compelling personality and the account is in the right place at the right time, but it’s so unlikely that any account trying to be these things is apt to remain settled in obscuria rather than get a feature in Wired.

    The key for these accounts is niche/”small-pond” social – not acting monolithic, connecting with your peers/partners rather than your customers as a primary focus. See how your competitors are doing it and fill in the gaps. See what your other marketing channels are lacking and develop a plan. Even small companies have superfans – they’re just smaller and less vocal. But they’re likely in the business’s email list. Send an intimate invite via email to your customers to connect on the social web, too.

    One store that I’ve worked with uses their Facebook page to consult its fans on interior design – the fan asks what the best couch for a room is, the store asks for a pic of the space, and makes a few recommendations. Others, where it’s relevant, act as white-glove customer service.

    Social isn’t about viral growth for these companies – it’s about giving existing customers new ways to love them; you just have to find the right strategy to touch them.
    .-= Jeff Stolarcyk´s last blog ..Friday Cover Songs – Late Again =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Absolutely, Jeff. Outstanding comment. I’ve said it a bunch of times before, but I’ll say it again here. Social media will end up being about customer loyalty, not customer acquisition. period. The faster brands figure that out, the better off we’ll all be.

  • http://www.jeffersonstolarship.com Jeff Stolarcyk

    Truth to power. I talk to small businesses about going social and they have aspirations of being Amazon or Dell or @shitmydadsays, even. Now it’s certainly possible to get that level of traction if the account manages to have a compelling personality and the account is in the right place at the right time, but it’s so unlikely that any account trying to be these things is apt to remain settled in obscuria rather than get a feature in Wired.

    The key for these accounts is niche/”small-pond” social – not acting monolithic, connecting with your peers/partners rather than your customers as a primary focus. See how your competitors are doing it and fill in the gaps. See what your other marketing channels are lacking and develop a plan. Even small companies have superfans – they’re just smaller and less vocal. But they’re likely in the business’s email list. Send an intimate invite via email to your customers to connect on the social web, too.

    One store that I’ve worked with uses their Facebook page to consult its fans on interior design – the fan asks what the best couch for a room is, the store asks for a pic of the space, and makes a few recommendations. Others, where it’s relevant, act as white-glove customer service.

    Social isn’t about viral growth for these companies – it’s about giving existing customers new ways to love them; you just have to find the right strategy to touch them.
    .-= Jeff Stolarcyk´s last blog ..Friday Cover Songs – Late Again =-.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Absolutely, Jeff. Outstanding comment. I’ve said it a bunch of times before, but I’ll say it again here. Social media will end up being about customer loyalty, not customer acquisition. period. The faster brands figure that out, the better off we’ll all be.

  • http://www.washingtontechnology.org/ Lew McMurran

    How true. I get tired of all kinds of companies who want a “relationship” with me. Well, I don’t necessarily want one with you. Let me do a transaction with you to see if you are competent and then I will think about it. Unless you are offering me cash, I am going to take my time.

    Even with companies that I love and will evangelize about (Amex being one) I still have no real need or desire to be attached to them on facebook or follow their twittering.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      Good points Lew. It’s sometimes hard for broad companies like AMEX. Because they do so may things, in so many places, it’s tough to combine Utility + Humanity. But it can be done. IBM does an excellent job of building usefulness and personality into a multitude of social media initiatives. It requires a fairly decentralized approach, however.

  • http://www.washingtontechnology.org Lew McMurran

    How true. I get tired of all kinds of companies who want a “relationship” with me. Well, I don’t necessarily want one with you. Let me do a transaction with you to see if you are competent and then I will think about it. Unless you are offering me cash, I am going to take my time.

    Even with companies that I love and will evangelize about (Amex being one) I still have no real need or desire to be attached to them on facebook or follow their twittering.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      Good points Lew. It’s sometimes hard for broad companies like AMEX. Because they do so may things, in so many places, it’s tough to combine Utility + Humanity. But it can be done. IBM does an excellent job of building usefulness and personality into a multitude of social media initiatives. It requires a fairly decentralized approach, however.

  • http://www.jeremymeyers.com/ Jeremy Meyers

    A couple of points here (great post)

    - As a consumer, I dont want to be friends with a brand. But that’s not really what connecting via social media is. A brand is a collection of people. What I want is for a brand to care enough about a potential interaction between me and them that they have a person dedicated to engaging me with an awesome experience.

    Do I want @Starbucks to console me if I break up with my girlfriend? No. But if Brad and I have had enough interactions that lead to me trusting him to enrich my experience with my Starbucks touchpoints (be it with deals, ‘inside information’, RTing something I said that’s relevant, and I post something about being single again, and Brad @s or DMs me to offer condolensces (and hey, maybe he gives me a link to a coupon for a free hot chocolate to drown my sorrows), that’s relationship building and you can bet I’m not going to Dunkin Donuts that day.

    It’s about relationships between people, and if one represents a company and can offer ways for me to make my life healthier, happier, more amusing that are relevant to me, that is the interaction that is going to be valuable, shareable, and will lead me to talk ABOUT a company to my friends.

    It’s a great point that we all get lost in the echo chamber from time to time, which is why it’s so important to take yourself out of conference / marketing / blog commenter mode and talk to your friends and family about the changes happening in communication and really listen to the answers.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ Jay Baer

      You got it Jeremy. Companies are comprised of great people. Social media lets you prove it.

  • http://www.jeremymeyers.com/ Jeremy Meyers

    A couple of points here (great post)

    - As a consumer, I dont want to be friends with a brand. But that’s not really what connecting via social media is. A brand is a collection of people. What I want is for a brand to care enough about a potential interaction between me and them that they have a person dedicated to engaging me with an awesome experience.

    Do I want @Starbucks to console me if I break up with my girlfriend? No. But if Brad and I have had enough interactions that lead to me trusting him to enrich my experience with my Starbucks touchpoints (be it with deals, ‘inside information’, RTing something I said that’s relevant, and I post something about being single again, and Brad @s or DMs me to offer condolensces (and hey, maybe he gives me a link to a coupon for a free hot chocolate to drown my sorrows), that’s relationship building and you can bet I’m not going to Dunkin Donuts that day.

    It’s about relationships between people, and if one represents a company and can offer ways for me to make my life healthier, happier, more amusing that are relevant to me, that is the interaction that is going to be valuable, shareable, and will lead me to talk ABOUT a company to my friends.

    It’s a great point that we all get lost in the echo chamber from time to time, which is why it’s so important to take yourself out of conference / marketing / blog commenter mode and talk to your friends and family about the changes happening in communication and really listen to the answers.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com Jay Baer

      You got it Jeremy. Companies are comprised of great people. Social media lets you prove it.

  • http://blumaya.net/ Jorge Barba

    Hi Jay,

    Customers don’t want to be your friend because brands don’t give them a reason to care.

    What it all comes down to from a customers POV is: Why should I care?

    Or better yet brands should ask themselves, if we disappear tomorrow who would miss us?

    Like you said at the end of the day we’re all humans and have our own circle of friends that ‘care’, but that relationship was built overtime by adding value to their life’s.

    It’s all the same.
    .-= Jorge Barba´s last blog ..What to know to spread the word for your event =-.

  • http://blumaya.net Jorge Barba

    Hi Jay,

    Customers don’t want to be your friend because brands don’t give them a reason to care.

    What it all comes down to from a customers POV is: Why should I care?

    Or better yet brands should ask themselves, if we disappear tomorrow who would miss us?

    Like you said at the end of the day we’re all humans and have our own circle of friends that ‘care’, but that relationship was built overtime by adding value to their life’s.

    It’s all the same.
    .-= Jorge Barba´s last blog ..What to know to spread the word for your event =-.

  • http://www.meryl.net/section/blog Meryl K Evans

    I think this is more of a Facebook issue than anything else. Facebook has a bigger “friending” connotation. Twitter’s focus is more on conversations. I know you can follow someone — but it’s not thought of as friending, but more about choosing to listen to the person you follow.
    .-= Meryl K Evans´s last blog ..Developing Your Fiction Platform =-.

  • http://www.meryl.net/section/blog Meryl K Evans

    I think this is more of a Facebook issue than anything else. Facebook has a bigger “friending” connotation. Twitter’s focus is more on conversations. I know you can follow someone — but it’s not thought of as friending, but more about choosing to listen to the person you follow.
    .-= Meryl K Evans´s last blog ..Developing Your Fiction Platform =-.

  • http://www.turner-riggs.com/ Kiley Turner

    What a great article and comment stream. In a sense, it represents exactly what you’re talking about–how do you get people to become engaged with your brand. I am engaged with your brand–and I rarely am in general–because (1) you offer me helpful, relevant content that helps me in my thinking (the useful test), (2) I enjoy reading the comments that demonstrate that others (intelligent, interesting others) also like your stuff (the community aspect, the “I want to be a part of this” idea) and (3) I dig your tone/style, which makes me think we’re sympatico (the “this brand and me are made for each other” thing, also important). Now you’re an ideas/content brand, which is a whole other dimension of the discussion, but I think some of what you’re doing would be applicable to all brands …

  • http://www.turner-riggs.com Kiley Turner

    What a great article and comment stream. In a sense, it represents exactly what you’re talking about–how do you get people to become engaged with your brand. I am engaged with your brand–and I rarely am in general–because (1) you offer me helpful, relevant content that helps me in my thinking (the useful test), (2) I enjoy reading the comments that demonstrate that others (intelligent, interesting others) also like your stuff (the community aspect, the “I want to be a part of this” idea) and (3) I dig your tone/style, which makes me think we’re sympatico (the “this brand and me are made for each other” thing, also important). Now you’re an ideas/content brand, which is a whole other dimension of the discussion, but I think some of what you’re doing would be applicable to all brands …

  • http://www.exari.com/ Adine

    Great post Jay. Everyone is so jazzed about inbound marketing and building community, which are great concepts, but as a niche enterprise software player, our customers tend not to participate in social media. They do seem to read the blog, but aren’t big on interacting. So far, we’ve had the best luck with LinkedIn, because it matches up best with our demographic. Even so, although they have joined our group, they’re not really participating in the conversation. So I guess we need to give them better reasons to.

  • http://www.exari.com Adine

    Great post Jay. Everyone is so jazzed about inbound marketing and building community, which are great concepts, but as a niche enterprise software player, our customers tend not to participate in social media. They do seem to read the blog, but aren’t big on interacting. So far, we’ve had the best luck with LinkedIn, because it matches up best with our demographic. Even so, although they have joined our group, they’re not really participating in the conversation. So I guess we need to give them better reasons to.

  • http://twitter.com/md_cwunited/statuses/5843469665 md_cwunited (Mike Doherty)

    Twitter Comment


    Guess what, customers don’t want to be your friend. Can’t agree more that you have to give them a reason. [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/md_cwunited/statuses/5843469665 md_cwunited (Mike Doherty)

    Twitter Comment


    Guess what, customers don’t want to be your friend. Can’t agree more that you have to give them a reason. [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/merylkevans/statuses/5652783486 merylkevans (Meryl K. Evans)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @jaybaer: Guess what? Your customers don’t want to be your friend [link to post] Twitter better b/c of convo-focus not friending – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/merylkevans/statuses/5652783486 merylkevans (Meryl K. Evans)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @jaybaer: Guess what? Your customers don’t want to be your friend [link to post] Twitter better b/c of convo-focus not friending

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/lmwhite/statuses/5653528293 lmwhite (LMWhite)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @merylkevans: RT @jaybaer: Guess what? Your customers don’t want to be your friend [link to post] Twitter – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/lmwhite/statuses/5653528293 lmwhite (LMWhite)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @merylkevans: RT @jaybaer: Guess what? Your customers don’t want to be your friend [link to post] Twitter

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/nathalief/statuses/5791013619 nathalief (Nathalie Soeteman)

    Twitter Comment


    Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend [link to post] Ask yourself: Why would they? – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/nathalief/statuses/5791013619 nathalief (Nathalie Soeteman)

    Twitter Comment


    Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend [link to post] Ask yourself: Why would they?

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/studiopolkadot/statuses/5791022582 studiopolkadot (bianca spieren

    Twitter Comment


    RT @Nathalief Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend [link to post] Ask yourself: Why would they? – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/studiopolkadot/statuses/5791022582 studiopolkadot (bianca spierenburg)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @Nathalief Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend [link to post] Ask yourself: Why would they?

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/coydavidsoncre/status/5880638026 Coy Davidson

    RT @jaybaer Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convinc… http://bit.ly/2DVRRr

  • http://twitter.com/itminefield/status/5882278756 Leslie Knight

    Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend http://bit.ly/2DVRRr

  • http://twitter.com/marc_rullo/statuses/6771378543 marc_rullo (Marc A. Rullo)

    Twitter Comment


    Create relevace not friends RT @jaybaer Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend | Social Media Marketing |… [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/marc_rullo/statuses/6771378543 marc_rullo (Marc A. Rullo)

    Twitter Comment


    Create relevace not friends RT @jaybaer Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend | Social Media Marketing |… [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/marc_rullo/status/6771378543 Marc A. Rullo

    Create relevace not friends RT @jaybaer Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend | Social Media Marketing |… http://bit.ly/2DVRRr

  • http://twitter.com/coffee_tweets/status/6771899993 Jasmine Guevara

    On #socialmedia: "Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend" by @jaybaer http://bit.ly/1zdf4z

  • kate

    I would agree, except I work for a non profit w/ 600 volunteer who DO want to advocate on our behalf and folks have become our “fans” on a rapid basis because our content can’t be found anywhere else.

  • http://YourWebsite kate

    I would agree, except I work for a non profit w/ 600 volunteer who DO want to advocate on our behalf and folks have become our “fans” on a rapid basis because our content can’t be found anywhere else.

  • http://twitter.com/seasmprofiles/status/7750666961 SeaSMProfiles

    Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend | | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://ow.ly/WqO6

  • http://twitter.com/daynajoanna/status/7750784787 Dayna J Reid

    RT @SeaSMProfiles: Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend | | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://ow.ly/WqO6

  • http://twitter.com/jeffhurt/status/8323517808 Jeff Hurt

    Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend by @jaybaer http://ow.ly/11dbB

  • http://twitter.com/tahisey/status/8323713257 Tim Hisey

    RT @JeffHurt: Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend by @jaybaer http://ow.ly/11dbB

  • http://twitter.com/psalinger/status/8324122488 psalinger

    RT @JeffHurt: Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend by @jaybaer http://ow.ly/11dbB

  • http://twitter.com/mrshasten/status/8325371139 Meg Hasten

    RT @jaybaer Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convinc… http://bit.ly/2DVRRr

  • J12

    A really interesting post and blog and comments about being 'friends' with clients. I tend to think it's good to have compatable people in business working together and if you are compatable with someone on a few levels in business you are likely to be able to be friends, providing personal values are of a similar standard as well. I prefer to take on clients I can actually socialise with and invite to events and grow a fairly strong friendship level with. The idea of an overly shallow business relationship never really appeals to me, as when I take on a client I have them or hope to have them for a long time. I have found this approach does and doesn't work depending on how well I feel matched with the client. for me it's a given thay I deliver on projects, but if I can't offer something more as well I feel quite de-valued and loose interest in working with the client lomg term. I'm not sure this is something I can or would change about myself. I guess it has it has it's pros and cons. It's good when it's a good match and not good if it's a bad match. I always add such solid value to projects, but if the client doesn't have the degree of character or friendlyness I am looking for then I find it unworthwhile.

  • http://twitter.com/danielbkimball/status/14432266605 Daniel Kimball

    Your Customers Don’t Want to be Your Friend http://bit.ly/3idpkI

  • http://twitter.com/justinparks/status/17051899271 Justin Parks

    I have to say, this made perfect sense – RT @jaybaer: Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend http://is.gd/4RPJR

  • http://twitter.com/nomalab/status/17074387042 Samppa Nieminen

    Good read: "Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend" http://is.gd/4RPJR by @jaybaer (via @justinparks)

  • http://www.ud.com meirong

    vvbbv

  • http://twitter.com/lisalamagna/status/18557298772 Lisa LaMagna

    RT @jaybaer: Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend http://is.gd/4RPJR

  • http://twitter.com/lisalamagna/status/18557298772 Lisa LaMagna

    RT @jaybaer: Your Customers Don't Want to be Your Friend http://is.gd/4RPJR

  • Cdavis9797

    I like the idea of a “mom” test. I’m tired of people asking me to follow them. i don’t think mom would give the “keep badgering” tactic.

  • http://www.rebekahlfraser.com Rebekah L Fraser

    This makes so much sense, Jay! If there’s no reason to follow a company on Twitter or friend them on Facebook, why do it? Companies need to create added value for those who connect with them on social media. Companies need to create the opportunity to win a valuable prize, to gain 15 minutes of fame, or to learn about an event, for example, in order to earn a following on their social media platforms. By the way, just because everybody’s doing it, doesn’t mean you should, too. Maybe social media doesn’t make sense for your company. It’s not right for everyone.

  • VinoFuse

    Jay, as usual, a great post. You’ve highlighted perhaps my greatest marketing challenge right now. I work for a digital marketing company in Napa Valley, and we represent a number of wine brands, two of them relative unknowns. Each has the requisite social media platforms set up. What, though, is the value-laden hook that would get wine lovers to care about these two labels amidst the thousands of other labels out there?

  • Sweetsoaps

    Love jay

  • http://www.taglinemachine.com Simon Gornick

    Totally agree, Jay. The “Why should a customer care question” is a great way to focus and discipline your message as a company – big or small. It can also be a painful road, beucase more than anything answering the question requires a deep understanding and belief in your own value proposition.

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.

  • kkwiatko

    I’m not so sure about the mom test. Even at 38, she still thinks everything I touch is gold.

  • Deborah Harrison

    I disagree or agree whichever way you look at it. As the client I am treated without exception exceedingly well by the organisations I work with. They have totally aligned what I want with what they deliver plus more. I am their biggest fan and would be honoured to be classed as their friends, whether they want me or not. I am more than happy to shout about them from the roof tops and anywhere else for that matter. They are called remediz communications and give the dog a bone.

  • Deborah Harrison

    I disagree or agree whichever way you look at it. As the client I am treated without exception exceedingly well by the organisations I work with. They have totally aligned what I want with what they deliver plus more. I am their biggest fan and would be honoured to be classed as their friends, whether they want me or not. I found them from a personal trusted recommendation. I am more than happy to shout about them from the roof tops and anywhere else for that matter. They are called Remediz Ltd Creative communications and Give the Dog a Bone Ltd, real professionals.

    They have obviously have the touch and know how to treat their customers exceedingly well.