Greg Ferro - Work to Live

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Social Media Hurts Like a Teenaged Love Song. Give Without Taking.

You should plan to give in social media until it hurts like a teenaged pop song.

The most successful social media programs are those that give before they take. Yet most marketing professionals have decades of using outreach methods that intend to take through demand and lead generation.

Lead and Sales Generation is About Taking

The last 20 years of technology marketing has been about finding customers and then refining content to a smaller subset that could use your product and then an even smaller subset that might buy your technology.

Sales methods focussed on cold-calling, hot-knocking, lead qualification and sales funnel. Concepts of “chasing the customer”, “getting in their face” and “taking the order” have limited application in an era where the customer has greater power.

Post-Scarcity Marketing and the Internet

The underlying shift that is impacting technology marketing is that Internet has changed the cost of marketing. Last decade, access to customer attention was through media or analyst interaction using PR teams dedicated to task. This is expensive and . The Internet has changed this dynamic and, like other industries, disrupted the “middle-man” in the transaction.

Social Media means reaching many (not all) customers directly. It disrupts the legacy sale process but communicating directly to your customers. It bypasses the complexity and cost of resellers. It reduces the need to sales people.


Programs designed to enhance, strengthen and support existing relationships will have medium impact. These customers are already engaged with your products, support services and sales team. They remain valuable.

Programs that give away resources will succeed.

  1. white papers
  2. webinars
  3. podcasts
  4. commentary
  5. feature-fetish blog posts
  6. newsletters via email

Think of these as mix-tapes for your teenage love. That intensity that drove you to share something about yourself. Remember love notes, cheap jewellery, innocence and holding hands ?

Cost ?

Traditional marketing programs intend to “take”. Take leads, create demand and take purchase orders. Before the Internet, this type of sales was the only way, now we have options.

The cost of a social media program is vastly less than cost of a sales reps and their travel expenses. Much less than advertising in a magazine.

Pro Tip For Your Teenaged Love/Social Media Strategy

The best tips I have for social media success are:

  1. sustained effort over a long period (give love till it hurts)
  2. keep changing the medium and message (love always changes)
  3. do not overdo the analytics and measurement (how much do you love me?)
  4. it's not about your company, it is about the customer (it's not about you, it's about them)
  5. give information and perspective (sweet love notes)
  6. have webinars and meetups (setup your first date)
  7. don't expect to close a deal immediately (hold hands before you kiss)

One thing that hasn’t changed about marketing in 20 years is persistence. Everything else ? Yeah, its like technology that changes every 3 years.