That’s the question Steve Cunningham hears often, as the head of a digital marketing agency. His reply? The true power of social media is in doing things that are worth talking about.
He mentions two companies known for creating buzz in social-media circles:
1. Zappos. It’s nearly impossible to find a book written on social media that doesn’t mention Zappos. Its CEO is a Twitter user and has more than 1 million followers, and it recently sold the company to Amazon for nearly $1 billion.
Has social media been useful to Zappos in furthering its agenda? Yes, but people talk about Zappos because its customer service agents have bucked the trend by spending as much time as necessary with customers on the phone. They talk about the company because it provides unparalleled customer service.
People don’t talk about Zappos simply because its CEO is on Twitter.
2. Apple. Though the company breaks records with its product launches, it also breaks every social-media rule.
For example, the company doesn’t ask customers what they think during the product-development process. Steve Jobs doesn’t typically respond to customer complaints, and when he does, he doesn’t take a friendly tone.
Yet the company is one of the most talked-about companies, because it does things worth talking about.
Spend your time thinking about what will cause the world to take notice. Then, let the web take over.
— Adapted from “Should CEOs give a tweet?” Steve Cunningham, Financial Post.