The first rule of social media is as follows: People don’t do things or buy things because Facebook told them to. They do things and buy things because a trusted, admired friend told them to, and that friend happened to convey this message using Facebook.
If you intend to use social media to advance your marketing strategy, don’t be confused about the nature of social influence. Technology or no technology, social pressures have worked the same way for a thousand years and will (hopefully) continue working for a thousand more. Don’t expect this web tool or that one to do the work for you. DO expect the social network—hundreds of human opinions formed in human hearts and expressed through human mouths—to do the work for you, and use available technology to make this happen.
Try to deploy your message the same way you would in a world without Facebook and Twitter: Get influential people to love your product. These influential people, plus the respect afforded to them by their friends, plus their wish to share positive experiences with those friends, plus the means to do so, can send your messages sailing out onto the digital waves like so many little boats heading out to sea.
How Not to Use Social Media: An Important Reminder
Influential people did not become influential by bombarding their friends with spam. They also didn’t get there by being shameless, desperate, indiscriminate, or awkward. Think about the coolest person you know. Then be like that.
That’s what we all try to do. And that’s why it works.