Old School, New Media

by Eric Harr on January 9, 2014

A Book Every Brand Manager Should Read

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

-Maya Angelou

IT IS SAID that when someone gives you something of perceived value, you immediately feel a desire to give something back. When my wife, Alexandra, is cleaning the house, I feel an immediate desire to get in there and start scrubbing.

One our agency’s clients once asked: “I noticed you are Tweeting content that has nothing to do with driving sales. How does that help our bottom line?” It was a valid question. We were posting “how-to content” in order to generate discussion and endear the community to the brand. The client was paying us a lot of money and wanted to know why we were Tweeting content that did not directly drive their bottom line.

Answer: It was—by engaging the Law of Reciprocity.

We are in the midst of a “thank you economy.” When you genuinely help people live better lives, they will be inspired to return the favor. It may take a minute, a month or six months, but most people will reciprocate. And when they do, it can have big impact on your bottom line.

What most brands don’t understand is this: why would a person engage with your organization in social media? Why would they follow you? To be marketed to? To be sold? No and no. They get enough interruption marketing in their lives. Social media was created as a very refuge away from the sales-driven bacchanalia that has fueled corporate marketing for seven decades. They’re stuck in well-grooved take tracks, when they should be grooving the giving!

The brands that serve up a steady buffet of relevant, useful and sumptuous content, inspire people to dine–and to engage with them. The socially-savvy brands nurture the relationship. They give. They bring old school to new media. They might elegantly weave in the periodic product offer, but they will have built sufficient social capital; their community won’t mind the promotion.

Let’s say you have a company in the travel & hospitality industry. If you put out entertaining and informative content about “how to pack” or “how to stay safe overseas,” for example, you will earn people’s trust. You might win their hearts. You may even inspire them to share your brand or even to write a blog post about you, which is word-of-mouth marketing, the Holy Grail of Branding.

Your brand strategy should be to give and deliver value that is so compelling, it inspires people to pass it on. Because never before have they been more empowered to do just that.

I like to say that the magic isn’t in the Tweet; it’s in the retweet. If you’re wondering what to post in social media, go with “share-worthy content.” Just ask yourself: “Would I share this with my friends and family?” That’s a good litmus test for deciding what to post.

As a brand, bring old school to new media. Move from the take-mindset to the give-mindset.

Your company, and your life, will be better for it.


5 Simple Steps to Measure Social Media ROI

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Social Scorecard: How the Presidential Candidates Stack Up

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Social media helped win the White House in 2008. It will no doubt play a defining role in the 2012 election. Where do the President and former Governor Romney stand in social media? Best-selling social media author and founder of Resonate Social, Eric Harr, scores the candidates—and gives them advice. FOUR YEARS AGO, the Washington Post dubbed Barack Obama the “King of Social Media.” It was a fitting sobriquet. After all, Obama used the untested new medium to flat-out out-fox and out-run [...]

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“Help! I’ve fallen. And, I can’t get up.” ~Famous/incessantly mocked line from Lifeline Medical Alert TV spot IF YOU’RE A BUSINESS OWNER, the pain of getting “Yelped” falls somewhere between a moderate migraine and a worm burrowing in your brain. There you are: cheerfully flitting about, running a beautiful business–and BLAMO! A rageaholic on a bad day (or rather, a bad life) spends an inordinate amount of time churning out pure vitriol about your brand. Vitriol that spews every minute [...]

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When You’re Empowered, We All Win (+ 4 Social Empowerment Tips)

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“The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power.” —Wael Ghonim, widely-credited as a catalyst of the 2011 Egypt Revolution LIFE IS NOT a dress rehearsal. We get just one shot, so it ought to be our best one. To live your best life, you must know why you do what you do. That is the very combustible fuel that lights your fire and powers your passion. I have dedicated virtually every waking moment of my [...]

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12 Steps to Social Media Success…and a Gilly Flower Cordial to You!

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. ~W.C. Fields SOCIAL MEDIA HAS JUST EMERGED FROM THE DARK AGES. We’re now in the Age of Enlightenment, and while reason is beginning to prevail, the light bulb has yet to be invented. We’re still feeling our way around in ill-lit conditions, swilling Gilly Flower Cordials (17th century libation) and making out and passing out — and acting as [...]

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Never Been a Better Time to Be Alive

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Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. ~Henry David Thoreau IT IS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC and inspiring scenes in movie history. When Forrest Gump runs off his leg braces, it resonates in the hearts of us all. For me, as an entrepreneur, it represents that precious moment when we break free of our fears and doubts that shackle us–and we run right at our destiny. When we realize we have more power in us than we knew–if we [...]

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Protect Your Brand in 5 Simple Steps

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Today, one bad experience might cost you a hundred, maybe a thousand customers. Because of this, social media has irrevocably shifted the role of customer service from an easily outsourced, back-office function to one of an organization’s most important tactical assets. ~Oliver Blanchard, Author of Social Media ROI WHEN STEVE JOBS INTRODUCED THE IPHONE IN 2007, he famously quipped: “I skate to where the puck is going to be…not to where it’s been.” Truth be told, he borrowed that brilliant [...]

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7 Video Best Practices in the Era of Social Media

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“A good video can make all the difference.” ~Brian May IF A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, you could say that a video is priceless. We live in a time when a single video can tell your story, tip your brand — or change our world. Cases in point: JK’s Wedding Entrance Dance, Will it Blend? — and We Are All Khaled Saeed. Over two billion videos are downloaded every day on Youtube. That is roughly equivalent to the [...]

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