An Open Letter To Business : Use Social Media Properly!

August 26, 2011 · 6 comments

by Jade Evans

An Open Letter To Business : Use Social Media Properly!

To all the businesses out there in the world – this is an open letter to you. And why sometimes you all absolutely suck at using social media. And your customers hate you for it.

There is a pit that you fall into (beware the spikes) because you’re so involved in your own world. Twitter and Facebook are not new things – and it isn’t some secret that companies use them to promote various products or clients. Don’t think you can out-think your customers – especially not those who are in Gen Y or younger. They probably know the ins and outs of social media better than your 40 year old social media guru who tells you that you need to run more Facebook ads. I couldn’t give you a hard and fast number, but there have been results that Facebook ads result in less than a .5% return.



Social media is not traditional advertising on a new platform. It’s networking with your customers in an environment that is inherently, And if that isn’t something you can grasp, maybe you shouldn’t be on social media at all.

Social media is not traditional advertising

If you do use Facebook or Twitter to promote an affiliate or a new product or what have you on your blog or your Twitter feed or your Facebook account, take a page from personal bloggers. Be transparent about it. If you recognize the intelligence of your audience and admit to what you are doing, at least they will (or at least a good deal of your audience) will respect you for being upfront. I’d rather be completely transparent and keep customers than lose customers because they’re offended that you don’t admit to something that seems so obvious to them.

Likely they can see right through your ‘sneaky’ post on Facebook that is a ‘casual real-person’ promotion for a project. They know. And it starts to offend your customers. You think they’re stupid. And they’ll stop buying your products, or recommending your restaurant to friends, or using your product.

Many businesses can go to the other extreme of not-knowing-how-to-use-social-media and will use their social media platforms simply to push discounts and deals or their new product line. Fine, hey, that’s great every once in a while – we all love a good discount – but people these days are conditioned to ignore that kind of advertising, treat it as white noise.

So your social media platforms will become just another set of white noise.

Really leveraging social media is something that is a beast to do – simply because you need to constantly engage with your audience, listen and actively respond, and even take what you hear on all the social media channels to your business structure.

To end on the note of a company that does social media well – and uses it quite impressively, take a look at Morton’s Steakhouse. Recently, a loyal Morton’s Steakhouse customer (who happens to also be a CEO and have something around 10K followers on Twitter) jokingly sent a tweet – as he was not going to have the time to get food after his flight – to Morton’s asking for someone to meet him at his arrival airport with a steak in hand.

And you know what, 2 hours later, they did.

Morton's Steakhouse

Legitimately, that is one of the most impressive uses of social media I have ever seen. Strive to do that with your social media networks – the level of engagement is ridiculously impressive – and you are on your way to using social media the right was as a business.

Author : Jade Evans

Jade Evans is a freelance writer who works occasionally with Twiends, a company all about twitter how to get followers, and social media engagement. She thrives in the digital world and drinks way too much coffee. 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve @ January 14, 2013 at 12:46 am

Good post! If you aren’t social outside of online social media channels, you are going to run into the same challenges. Sure, it is easy to hide behind a computer, however, online consumers are smarter than you think so you better come across genuine and build a real relationship.


Steve Kavetsky [Co-Founder of ] June 9, 2012 at 6:53 am

I know I’m commenting nearly a year after this article was posted but it is still very relevant today.

Most Small Businesses still don’t know the importance of using Social Media correctly. Many still have an old-school way of operating their business. Many have joined Social Networking sites but they joined without having real faith in their concept. Social Media allows CRM [customer relationship mgmt] to be relatively inexpensive, it provides customer service capabilities that small business owners otherwise would not have unless they spent a nice chunk of capital. Social Media allows businesses to get to know their market on a personal level. Through Social Media, a fan can be converted into a paying customer who then can turn into a brand advocate….but ONLY if the business takes advantage of Social Media the right way.

Many businesses simply join social networks thinking that the customers will start pouring in if they post a couple messages, upload a few pics, and simply return to their profile occasionally. Other Small Business owners who use Social Media incorrectly think [from the start] that Social Media won’t work for them. What happens is it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When the platform does not work for them, they reason with themselves “I knew this thing won’t work. Social Media is just a bunch of hype!!” Yet others, do an enormous amount of posts, copy&pastes, repeating messages, without any real strategy. These businesses tend to be called Spammers even if the business owner thinks she/he is doing a lot of work.

While this article is nearly 1 year old, it is just as relevant today as it was back in August of 2011.

Great Post. I’m sharing it with my audience and AgooBiz members.

Steve Kavetsky
Co-Founder/President // The Social Commerce Network
WE work greater than me


Sandy Ellingson September 27, 2011 at 5:29 am

Great article. I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly. Social media is about relationships not sales. It is about engaging those who want to be engaged not SPAM, and it is about developing a plan that supports your overall business plan not hit or miss communications.


Nicole Greentree September 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Great article! I find Social Media gets really boring when businesses try to pull the wool over your eyes with affiliate marketing ploys! Creating real connections is so much more valuable than attempting a quick sale.


cofixy September 13, 2011 at 2:14 am

It’s important to use social media to share knowledge, provide insights and be helpful. exists to allow the community to ask questions and provide answers and a medium to share the information through facebook and twitter. This is the importance of the semantic web and the true sound that cuts through that “white noise.” Businesses that provide helpful, sincere tips and advice are more likely to attract customers.


food wine sleep September 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

More and more businesses are using social media to get in front of their target audience. It makes sense, if you are “out there” more, more people can find you.


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