10 October 2011

Awesome Social Media

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – In this post I’m going to try and spread some awesome.

Not my own writing, but the great thoughts of Scott Stratten, the charmingly Canadian author of UnMarketing. Here were some of my favorite takeaways from his keynote address at the BOLO conference here.*

People spread Awesome – not Normal

This is a much pithier and more practical way to say that content is king (three overused words quickly losing meaning). If you’re going to post something on behalf of yourself, your company or your client, make it something awesome. Obvious advice? Sure, but do we always live by this principle?

Social Media ROI is Irrelevant

Stratten is equal parts insightful, funny and sarcastic and on this point those traits yielded an eloquent rant. In a more summarized way he made two points. (1) Social Media is really a form of Customer Relations. (2) Asking the ROI of Social Media is like asking the ROI of Customer Relations.

Brand Equity = Brand Reality

We’ve all discussed brand equity and written grand plans to describe what it should be. Stratten defines brand equity as what consumers think your brand is, not what you intend them to think it is. He told a wonderful story about how the Sous Chef at a Hilton did more for brand equity than any marketing plan.

Pick your Social Media Platform

With this last point comes practical advice and a personal aside.

Stratten pointed out that some marketers have avoided Social Media, partly due to the mind-boggling multiplicity of options. What should I use or recommend to my client? Facebook? Twitter? His advice: Just pick one and get some experience so you can figure out how Social Media works. It’s sound advice, and a path I’ve followed as well, first with Twitter in 2007 and then with Ad Majorem two years ago.

The personal aside concerns my close friend and Phoenix-area lawyer, Steve Adelman, an expert in venue safety and security. If that topic interests you, then read about him here on his website. You can also visit his Facebook page, though I’d always wondered why he had one. We got together this evening and I learned that he, too, was doubting whether Facebook was right for his wildly successful law practice. He gets a much better result from SEO and from an email newsletter.

Did he make a mistake? No. He experimented. Not only is there nothing wrong with that, there’s everything right with it. The same applies to all of us. You can start by making a comment in the space below.

* Today and tomorrow I’m at the BOLO conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, a gathering of 200 leaders of small and midsize agencies. BOLO is run by Agencyside, a consultancy that helps these agencies stay competitive. I’ll be speaking here tomorrow.


  1. We think experimenting with a Facebook page is a great idea but for the purposes of publicizing your services through social media, there's a right way and a wrong way. Your goal is to come off as an expert in your industry, a person, not a salesperson.

  2. Totally agree, Keith. Social Media isn't about selling, it's about being useful. That's why ROI is the wrong question. Thanks for commenting!