Anyone who has seen an episode of the Waltons knows the depth at which relationships motivate us. They never sold a product, didn’t have a board game or action figures, and there are probably two generations that have never seen the television show. But sure as John-boy narrated the program, the Waltons are the defining figure for social media.
I remember everyone gathering to watch the show. The next day in school, it wasn’t so much the thing we would talk about…it was what we wanted to be. Everyone wanted to live on Waltons' mountain, to have their grandma and grandpa close by, and be surrounded by the warmth and hustle of a big family.
Consumer desire met product delivery in front of the Boob-Tube.
- Have a plan
- Take small steps with a goal in mind
- Be willing to put some time into it
- Track progress and results
- Be flexible
Can’t you just hear Grandpa Walton giving the same advice to one of the kids starting a new business venture?
Folks, I’ve been saying it since I started writing Friends, Follower and Customer Evangelists…The only thing truly different about social media is the bells and whistles.
Mitch Joel takes the same kind of approach in his new book Six Pixels of Separation. He even has a section called "In Praise of Slow." Why? Because he recognises that social media is nothing more than a primped and coiffed version of word-of-mouth.
When United Airlines trashed Dave Carroll’s guitar, the story would have been a flash on the social media landscape if not for his songs. Sure the story caught our attention. But Dave Carroll held it by delivering something of value and interest to us – meaningful songs. (Not to mention humorous videos to go with them.)
How is it that the experts and gurus can equate social media with relationship marketing and not realize they are talking about something as old as commerce itself? Customer evangelism is when someone sails from Europe to the New World and looks up a business owner holding a three-year-old letter saying “My friend says you hold to an honest deal.”
Social media just turns the three years into nano-seconds.
Do well by a customer and they can communicate that with lightning speed. So, too, if you do poorly. And a reputation still takes time to build.
For everyone you know who is just getting started with social media, two excellent places to get ongoing information for everyone, and especially those new to social media, are ProBlogger and Social Media Examiner.
Darren Rowse runs ProBlogger and Michael Stelzner runs Social Media Examiner. I’m familiar with both men and readily recommend their content.
A great person to follow for metrics and measuring social media marketing results is Andrew Ballenthin. He’s doing great stuff with his Blog Off competitions. Andrew is very big on walking his talk so look him up at the Community Marketing Blog.
Remember that social media is a tool and not a magic wand.
Dave Carroll still had to write and record the songs then shoot the videos. And before that he had spent years developing a loyal fan base. Just like the Waltons spent years showing us how relationships work just so I could use them as an example in this article.