Social Media ROI: You Get What You Give Without Expectation

social media give what you get without expectation

As we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend here in the USA, we're reminded of the many soldiers, their families and friends who sacrificed so much. What did they get?  Yes, many received a paycheck. However, when they stood, fought, cried, sacrificed for our freedom they didn't expect us to give anything in return. They gave to give. They gave us the gift of freedom, security and peace. I am forever thankful to each woman, man and family who has given us such a gift.

As adults and children growing up we have all heard the phrases…

Reap what you sow

Get what you give

Give without expectation of return

Give to get

Give and you shall receive


Stop Giving to Get!

When it comes to social media, social business, social branding, content marketing, editorial calendars, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and the thousands of other social platforms out there I think far too many business leaders and brands are getting it wrong.

Too many are giving to get.

  • They leave a comment expecting a link back to their site or a comment on their own blog in return. What ever happened to commenting on a blog because the writer inspires you to engage in a real conversation?
  • They retweet to get retweeted, noticed, followed or liked. What happened to tweeting because you like the content you're sharing and a goal of delivering value to your audience?
  • They like a Facebook business page and leave a note for the business page owner, “I liked and shared, please do the same.”  I received five of these last week on one business page alone!
  • Even a few top social media leaders are caught cheating, stealing content, plagiarizing other people's content. Yet when called out on such, they claim “fair use.”
  • Some create content with only a goal of getting web traffic. They could care less about true engagement, inspiring their readers or building community. They slap some wacky, attention grabbing title on the blog post just to get attention.
  • With all of the above, people are placing a focus on self versus their readers, followers, fans, partners, customers and community.


How are these methods workin' for ya?

If you are struggling with results using social media, why don't you look at what you are giving versus what you are receiving.

Quit counting success by what you get but instead by what you give. What happened to simply creating content that helps people solve problems? Tweets, blog posts, Facebook status updates, white papers and tips that help them achieve their goals?

Are your marketing, business and integrated social media efforts focused on giving or getting? If you are not seeing the results you desire, I think it's time to look at your goals. Maybe you are counting and focusing on the wrong things?

Inspire your audiences to connect with you. Help them achieve their goals and you will achieve yours by default. Inspire – connect – achieve. It really doesn't need to be more complicated than this.


What You Say? 

I could have slapped a “memorial day” title on this post to grab attention. However, guess what… I didn't. I kept it true to what the article is. The people who get the “gift” of reading it will hopefully be inspired beyond that of those who are writing blog posts simply for traffic on this holiday weekend.

My question for you is what are you giving? What are you doing to contribute to the healthy, thriving heartbeat of the social ecosystem? Are you giving life? Or are you taking more than you give?

Heartbeat of Social Media Series

heartbeat of social mediaThis blog post is part of a series titled “The Heartbeat of Social Media“. It includes a deep look at how communities work, what people are doing within them and how businesses can better understand how they can fit in, provide value and derive benefit as both a business as well as individual people.

Subscribe to the series for updates and access to special videos, webinar training and more. Would love to hear your input and have you participate in discussions and debates as we challenge each other to be part of what makes the social network heartbeat healthy and alive!


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. Denys Kelley May 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

    It’s always better to give and expect nothing in return. But the truth is you do get something in return- the joy of sharing, maybe even helping someone one. The delight when they have an ah ha moment.
    Thank you for sharing!
    And PS- have a wonderful Memorial Day.

  2. Susan Kay Daniels May 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for this revealing post. It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and get away from what is truly in my heart to share with others. I appreciate this wonderful reminder. Warmly, Susan

  3. Phil Dildine May 30, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Pam, First time visitor… will not be my last. Restricting my tendency to overwrite… Let me just say that I was struck by a lot of your blog, but particularly a subject I focus on in mine I call “Today’s Wisdom”, and that is… Giving without expectation in return. My last writing was and I highly recommend everyone watch a short (less than 3 minute video… not selling anything here, but it is put out by a wonderful inspirational site “Simple Truths”) Thank you for helping jump start my day and keeping the flame of positivity burning! [email protected]

  4. nickie snyder June 3, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Thanks for sharing this incredible post. Sharing what is in your heart and being true to oneself and others is effective and does gain attention.

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