// what do you think?


Make it easy for other people to honestly spread good things about your impact on their lives.

[inspired, once again, by the lovely and talented Tamsen McMahon]

That’s all this whole thing is about.  All the Facebook, Twitter, Online Content, Blogging, Offline Networking, Engagement, Authenticity and all the other buzzword crap.

True success in the world comes from making it easy for other people to honestly spread good things about your impact on their lives.

Easy, but not simple.

Let’s break the sentence apart a little.

“Making it easy”

This is a tricky one, since we mean “easy” in a couple of different ways.

  • Technologically - putting content out there and  enabling, seeding and encouraging conversations around it.
  • Karmically - Doing good work, respecting the planet, giving back to the world and your customers, and making your advocates part of your process are all things that can swing the pendulum toward “easy”

“for other people”

This is a crucial point that some of us may miss.  One of the key transitions that the internet has magnified is that people rarely trust what others say about themselves.  If you think of yourself in that annoyingly proverbial cocktail party, stuck with someone who spends the entire conversation droning on and on about all the great things they’ve done, the stuff they’re working on, and then they say “But enough about me…what do you think about all the great work I’m doing?”  Not such a great thing, huh? Doesn’t make you want to spend more time than absolutely necessary with them.

What we get wrong, and what we’ve gotten wrong in business for 60 years is that we think that the rules for people and the rules for companies are different.  It’s been good business practice to trumpet our own products, successes and ‘cool features’ in order to get people’s interest.  The reason this was necessary is because we lived in a world where consumers had very very limited access and interest in accessing additional information about a product, so an advertising campaign provided what people thought was “enough information to make an informed decision”.

In this new world of influence, however, potential customers have near-instant access to near-unlimited amounts of additional data which you have no control over.  This throws many CMOs into a panic.  This is okay. The opportunity here is that there are a measurable number of people out there that want to say (or have already said) good things about what you’re doing, whether you have a connection to them or not.

“to honestly”

Honestly means you have to earn it.  Not by putting ‘share this’ buttons on every piece of content, not by bribing people (“Win an iPad by retweeting this message!”).  Plenty has been written about this part, so I wont bore you with more ‘be real’ talk (though if you want, my contribution is here.

“spread good things”

Yes, this includes social networks. No, it’s not always measurable.  No, not everything that can be measured meets the other criteria. No, “retweet this message to win” does not count as spreading a good thing.  A genuine unsolicited emotional experience is what we’re talking about here.  This comes from creating things that are useful and don’t suck.

“about your impact on their lives”

This is another key point.  Social Media Cultists talk, blog and tweet about the offline mentions that happen outside the internet world, as if people just sit around the dining room table saying things like “You know who I love? Frito-Lay.”  This is crap, a convenient fantasy that feeds corporate ego.

People talk about their lives, and any mention of a product or service is merely incidental.  The conversation is not about how much they love Apple, even.  It’s about their lives are easier, more cool, happier since an Apple product has entered it.

That’s what I think happy results should stem from.

Your thoughts?

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About Jeremy

Jeremy Meyers is a NYC-based social communication blogger searching for his dream job creating great experiences for and with those who honor us with their attention. He blogs about this, podcasts, music, life and other random geekery at JeremyMeyers.com.

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