Stop Blaming the Social Media Platform, Focus on Your Relationships!

Don't Blame the Social Media Platform Seems the new “thang” to blog about these days is how terrible one social media platform is over another, or why one type of follower is better, or why you should spend less time on Facebook and more on Twitter or the million other options.

I want to make one point today with this blog post: Stop blaming the platform. Focus on your relationships!

Note: I am not stating social media platform blog posts, summaries and analysis is not important.  This particular post is in regard to blaming your personal success in social media on the framework or structure of the platform.

Social media is a platform, a medium that enables you to communicate with an audience. Just as the early and late TV and radio networks had to earn the attention of their audience so do we in the world of social media.  Blogs, websites, Twitter profiles, Facebook Fanpages and LinkedIn do not function, thrive and sustain in a “build it and they will come” model.

We are responsible for how we engage, inspire and connect with our audiences.  We are responsible for our actions, our privacy settings and how transparent we are.  Most importantly we must take responsibility personally for our overall success in social media.

I listened to a brilliant Webinar today from Brian Solis.  His words were music to my ears.  One of my favorite quotes from his session was “content is no longer king, context is king….and should wrap content, it's WHY we connect.”  He also talked about humanizing your brand and doing it longer than one single campaign.  If you want your audience to respond to you then you need to engage and earn their trust before and after you ask them to do something.  Action is the new social currency according to Brian. I couldn't agree more!

If you are having difficulty building your business and obtaining a positive ROI in social media you need to look at your social relationships.

The first question you should ask yourself is: “Have I been successful at building and nurturing relationships?”

Chances are if you have not been successful at building and nurturing relationships then you have not been successful in obtaining a positive ROI.  Also, my guess is if you have been engaged in social media for quite some time and are seeing no benefit then you are probably starting to blame it on the platform versus your ability to engage and connect with the community eating, sleeping and breathing on the particular platform.

Social media is not all about tools. It is not just about technology. It is about connecting with real people to build real relationships that benefit people both personally and professionally.  Yes, we must learn the tools. We must learn the technology.  However, we must learn them in the context of how they will help us build relationships and connect with our audience.

Think about this… when you come home from work do you think about how cool your TV is? When you wake up in the morning do you think twice about the color of your alarm clock radio? No.  You care about what is on the channel.  You care about how it makes you feel.  You care about how the music or the TV program will inspire or connect with you.  You could give a rip if the TV you spent $2,000 on has a gray or black remote. Now that you know the tools you are more interested in what you can get out of them.

To be successful in any social media platform you must understand the DNA, the structure and the psychographics of the people within.  You can't just jump in like a fish out of water sending random tweets and automated Twitter direct messages (DMs) “hey, I got a Twitter account and some cool stuff, come check it out!”  Chances are you will not be retweeted, followed by the masses and probably won't sign off in the evening having felt the “social media love”!

Those of us who jumped on the social media train as early adopters grasped the importance of relationships before the mainstream.  It doesn't mean we're smarter. It doesn't mean you're a dum dum. It just means you need to accept what we're saying is true.

The advice “Social Media is about relationships, about connecting with real people in an authentic way” is true.  You can take it or leave it.  However, if you leave it don't come complaining about the platform.  I will point you right back to the context, content and approach you are taking to engage, inspire and connect with your audience.  It is only after inspiring and connecting that you will achieve success.

Your Turn

What are your thoughts on this? Do you invest in social relationships? Do you find that the social platforms you engage in with focus and attention yield higher benefit?

See this article syndicated on Social Media Today


About the Author:

CEO / Founder Marketing Nutz, full service social media, digital marketing, experiential brand, conversion optimization agency. Ranked by Forbes as Top 10 Social Media Women and 10 Social Media Power Influencer. Keynote speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. Helps businesses of all sizes integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups.


  1. […] Seems the new “thang” to blog about these days is how terrible one social media platform is over another, or why one type of follower is better.Go to Source […]

  2. Suzanne Vara September 24, 2010 at 8:23 am


    Bravo! Love this article. I could not agree more here as people are interested in the quick fix- how can I get more followers, how can I get more readers, how can I blah blah blah when they are forgetting the biggest part. the 1:1 that is afforded with the platforms. In mass media we used to focus heavily on market share and that is still important but what is just as important is the share of the customer. That is what I believe you are speaking of here and also Brian Solis. The share of the customer is so powerful as when you get into this mindset you are not thinking about which tool is better to get more and more but where should I be so I may converse and engage with customers in a manner that is acceptable to them and also to me (as the brand).

    If your ROI is struggling or not, it is a good habit to get into to look at the relationships that you are building but taking full advantage of the platforms/tools available. Learn the tools and how others use them but also how is best for you. There is also that as if you are just following instead of grasping how you as a brand or individual can use them there is a bit of a disconnect; at least I think so.

    As far as investing in social relationships – for me it is golden. I am so far from being an A-lister, gazillion followers, connections, friends – nah I am best suited building relationships one at a time or even a few at at time as when you go for the masses you miss out on a whole lot. I also am a bit unconventional as I do not just swing in my industry, I delve into my interests and enjoy those relationships just as much.

    Great post, really great post and thanks so much for bringing this to the forefront. I truly enjoyed it.


  3. Steven H September 24, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    So true, without the relationship – without the human connection – we are just free-floating 1s and 0s.

  4. D L September 27, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Really succinct view on what I'm beginning to see as Social Media Overload. Many people understand that they need to “engage their audience” but they don't understand what that actually means… which is odd to say the least, because interacting with people is something most learn to do at a young age.

    • PamMktgNut September 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm



      Pam Moore

      CEO / Founder

      FruitZoom, Inc.

      o: 813.685.1491 | c: 813.404.1485

  5. steveolenski September 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    “Action is the new social currency…” I like that. Ties in perfectly with the fact that my all time favorite superhero is Spiderman …

    Lyric from the song… “Action is his reward.”

  6. Marjorie Clayman September 29, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Hi Pam,

    @SuzanneVara recommended that I read this post and I see why…we both really dig emphasizing the human aspect of Social Media.

    I remember when I first started out on Twitter I thought, “boy, I always thought this was a dumb platform and I sure was right!” Well, I was wrong. The platform was fine. I just didn't know how to use it.

    Taking your television example a different direction, just because you can't figure out how to DVR something doesn't mean that the DVR is stinky. Just means you need to reread (or read) the directions!

    Great post!

  7. […] @PamMktgNut wrote a great post about how blaming a Social Media platform for your failings is really not appropriate. I couldn’t agree more. Another recommendation […]

  8. Kimberly Yow October 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Great article Pam! Straight talk and right to the point. So many parts of the article I like but this, “Blogs, websites, Twitter profiles, Facebook Fanpages and LinkedIn do not function, thrive and sustain in a “build it and they will come” model.”, hit me right away. Your explanation is something people can relate to!

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