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Social Media: It’s Just Digital Word of Mouth

Jon Olson

There is something of a tendency to get all hung up over the whole issue of social media – especially amongst internet marketers.

How should we use it? When should we use it? What is the best strategy to use? How long do we wait to mention our products? Do we try to mention our products at all? What do we talk about? How often do we use social media?  and on it goes.

I have been hearing a lot about social media strategy over the last few weeks and the general consensus seems to be that we are making the whole issue more complicated than it really ought to be.

Jon Olson defined it neatly during yesterday’s marathon three hour 20 minute T3 session when he said: “Social media – all it is is digital word of mouth.”

So it should follow that if you are comfortable talking to people you should be comfortable using social media as a tool to talk to people online.

The key is not to attempt to over-complicate things and instead, simply be yourself as you interact with others on Twitter and Facebook.

You don’t rush up to a friend in the street and then bombard them with offers for your latest product, service or special offer.

Instead you might ask about their family, events in their life, or chat about sport, the weather or the price of fuel.

As Jon Olson put it: “Do not pitch when you use social media, nobody wants to be pitched. Twitter is just you and me talking to each other and it works when you are interacting with people you know and like.

“If you spend an hour a day being social and building relationships with people then in six month time just watch what happens.”

As marketers we have to juggle many different things which are all competing for our time and there always seems to be more things to do than there are hours in the day.

Jon says we should aim for a “healthy mix” of work, social interaction and personal development and I take this to mean getting all three elements in balance and not be overly reliant on any single one of them.

I know I used to spend far too long trying to learn about the business, the personal development side of things, and almost completely ignored the other two.

I am not sure that I have got the mix quite right just yet but thanks to the help I have received from the people I have met online in the last six months, I know I am slowly getting there.

jon olson

Social media is digital word of mouth and is not a forum to pitch our latest offers says Tim Tech's Jon Olson.

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4 Responses to Social Media: It’s Just Digital Word of Mouth

  1. Professor Cue Ball Clicks UNITED STATES May 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Very nice piece Patrick. Social Marketing has fostered a NEW BREED OR MARKETER. A humane being,who actually cares about other people. Since embrassing this as a way to further my business intrests, I personally have made more money and gained associations with people who think and behave like me. I to follow Jon and ever since I stopped selling and started interacting with people I have been more successful. Besides nothing beats that feeling of helping someone thru a problem they are having. The person you help remembers this and returns the favor and you both start to trust each other. This is when the majic begins as PEOPLE BUY ABD SIGN UP TO THINGS FROM PEOPLE THEY KNOW AND TRUST. Keep up the great work I’m enjoying your blog.
    Professor Cue Ball Clicks aka MurrayO
    Professor Cue Ball Clicks thinks you may like this post too..One Important Component Of Social MarketingMy Profile

    • Patrick Griffin
      May 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

      I agree Murray. Even playing a small part in a new internet marketing movement which puts people, service, community and giving before profit is really exciting and rewarding for me.

  2. Karen Kuty
    June 1, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Another great blog post, Patrick!

    Having encountered many many backstabbing scumdoggies in the offline world, it is the positive and helpful nature of Social Marketing that is most appealing to me. It doesn’t take very long in chat to figure out who is real & who is just another sonofapitch out to take your $.

    Murray was one of the first people to help me in a big way, when there was nothing in it for him. Marie was another. Brenda was yet another. None of them have ever tried to SELL me anything.

    Do I go out of my way to work with them & other friends and see what programs they’re in? You betcha! Before I sign up as an affiliate for something new, do I ask my friends if they are already in & if they have a link? Of course!

    If I’m going to sign up for something, why would I want some faceless schmo hiding behind a DUSAP to benefit? Why wouldn’t I sign up with a friend instead?

    I like to help the people who help me, and I think most people feel the same. And when my friends tell me about something, I listen.

    Looking forward to hearing from you again soon,
    Karen Kuty (klkuty)

    • Patrick Griffin
      June 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

      I too have had the dubious pleasure of working with many unsavory people in the offline world which is why it is so refreshing to meet so many good people online.
      It is especially good to meet such good folks here because the internet marketing industry as a whole does not have the best of reputations among the population at large.
      Yes you can make a quick buck by ripping people off but far better to make a decent, honest living out of something where you provide great service and real benefits for people instead. I know which path I’ve chosen and I am already following in the steps of some very great people indeed.