Customer Centricity
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Issue #188

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the last edition of our newsletter, we began a series on Achieving Success with Post-Merger Integrations. And, we indicated that we will be alternating between this topic and the series we are presently running on Social Media. In this edition of our newsletter, we present the second article in the series on Social Media.

In our next edition, we will pick up with the second article on Achieving Success with Post-Merge Integrations. Enjoy!

Want Social Media Success? Think REALLY Small            
by Brian Waldman

Let me start by saying that there are many high-profile examples of big businesses doing a great job with social media.  What is sometimes lost, though is that these businesses are usually hiring big, expensive, agencies to handle social media as part of their ongoing communications or advertising strategy.  Most business people simply don’t have that luxury.  For most small to mid-size companies, social media is something handled in-house, usually by the marketing team and sometimes even in isolation from the remainder of the company.  Others utilize smaller PR or Marketing firms, with very mixed results.

So, how can a small to mid-size company have success with social media?  Instead of thinking bigger, think even smaller.

Some of the best social media successes I have seen aren’t pulled off by companies, they are done by individuals.  Individuals who all share a few passions:

  1. They LOVE their business or topic
  2. They LOVE sharing their thoughts and ideas with their audience
  3. They LOVE the full circle of engagement

My daughters watch tons of YouTube videos.  What are they watching?  A lot of times it is a young lady, who acts just a little bit crazy, talking about hair styles, new products and simply living her live.  This woman has HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of active followers.  These followers aren’t just passive either.  They watch every one of her videos and engage with each other as well as her.  She responds to almost every comment and even emails or tweets followers on their birthday.  My kids, who aren’t little, would rather meet her than almost anyone else in the world.

How does this example relate? This woman is meeting all of the above criteria.  She loves the things she talks about. She clearly loves sharing her thoughts with her audience and she is actively engaged with her followers on Twitter, Pintrest, Youtube, etc. It is authentic. It is passionate and it is who she is.

If you own a business, or are in charge of your social media campaigns, can you envision a strategy which meets those three criteria?   As I talked about in my last article, this isn’t something you can fake and there is no shame in not fitting all three of the criteria above.  That is either who you are or it isn’t.  If the lady my daughters love were faking it, they would know immediately.  Instead of feeling like they were being talked to, they would feel like they were being talked at.  Instead of personal notes on their birthday, they would get a mail merged email.  None of that works for teenage girls just like none of that works for adults.

So where is the passion in your company?  Don’t be afraid to look outside of marketing.  There are people in your company, perhaps even in roles you wouldn’t imagine, who fit all three of the above criteria.  This might be someone in support, development, sales, or accounting.  Wherever it is, these are the people you want to engage and empower for social media.  These are the people who are going to want to produce content, talk with customers and share ideas.  These should be the real face of your company.  Worried about what they might say?  Well, certainly I would talk to them about the “rules” you expect them to follow, but don’t try and stop them from being themselves or engaging in a transparent and open way.  Certainly follow their conversations and help set guides and guidelines for topics you would like them to discuss and provide any feedback about how to handle sticky situations, but don’t micro-manage them and take the joy out of it.  Give them the tools they need to produce videos, access to the social media log-ins and, most importantly, the time built in to their schedules to participate without it being added on top of what they are already doing.

In future articles we will continue to explore what it takes to be successful with Social Media. In the meantime, if you are wrestling with your Social Media strategy, feel free to contact us. We are here to serve!

About Brian Waldman

Brian Waldman is an Internet Entrepreneur and Consultant with over 12 years of senior leadership experience in Web and eCommerce Strategy.  From the early days of Google to cutting edge Social Media tactics, Brian has learned how, and how not, to be successful leveraging the Internet to achieve business goals across different industries and customer types.

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Recommended Reading

For a comprehensive guide to Customer Relationship Management, you are encouraged to read CRM In Real Time: Empowering Customer Relationships.

As described on

This comprehensive guide to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) draws on Barton Goldenberg's 20+ years of experience guiding firms to a successful implementation of CRM solutions and techniques. Goldenberg demonstrates how the right mix of people, process, and technology can help firms achieve a superior level of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and new business. Beginning with a primer for executives who need to get quickly up-to-speed on CRM, the book covers a full range of critical issues including integration challenges and security concerns, and illuminates CRM's key role in the 24/7/365 real-time business revolution. CRM in Real Time is an essential guide for any organization seeking to maximize customer relationships, coordinate customer-facing functions, and leverage the power of the Internet as business goes real time.

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