Social Media: Actions Speak Louder Than ‘Scores’

One of Blogging’s most well known faces, Darren Rowse (aka ProBlogger) recently conducted an interview with the guys at Social Media Examiner about how Blogger’s should use Twitter.

In the interview he made a point of reiterating one of his key beliefs / pillars about Social Media: being helpful.

And it brought me back to one of this issues I often touch on via this Blog which is the subject of ‘influence.’

I profiled some of the tools that calculate influence last month and posed the following question: are they useful?

My answer was that while on a personal level they can be fun, the criteria that helps create those scores is what you should focus on (if anything).

Social Media criteria worth considering

Are you engaging with your audience? i.e. taking part in conversations, commenting on posts etc

Are you sharing quality information? i.e. so many links are shared, are you really adding value every time?

Are you being generous in general? i.e. how quick do you respond? Do you respond at all?

The same applies for brands using Social Media.

Twitter and Facebook are not a direct marketing / sales channels

If you operate a Twitter account or a Facebook fan page for a brand and your feed mostly consists of commercial messages, you have got it wrong…big time!!

People opt-in to Social Media for interaction, to gather information and to be entertained, and to escape the thousands of marketing messages they are subjected to each day via other mediums.

Now, that’s not to say brands can’t use Social Media effectively, of course they can, but in order to be trusted and followed, you need to give something to people, and this is where being helpful / useful comes in.

Helpful + Useful + Fun = Mr (or Mrs) Right

My advice isn’t anything new but yet it seems to be missed by many.

Forget influence, forget follower counts and definitely forget direct sales messages.

Instead, ‘give’ without expecting to ‘receive’.

Proactively ‘help’ others.

Aim to predominantly share information of ‘use’ not personal indulgence.

Have ‘fun’ and be a ‘person’, not a robot.

You are part of a community, so act that way.

Brands and people who do these things don’t need to worry about influence metrics because their actions (and resulting relationships that they form) speak louder than their ‘scores’ ever will.



  • Reply February 26, 2010


    Great post, thanks Adam. Will be very helpful for Arbworx’s forays into the world of New Media.

  • Reply February 26, 2010

    Kirk Cheyfitz

    This is a solid post that everyone should read and take to heart. And in the “actions speak louder than words” department, I’d like to offer a story that shows how the “social” part of social media often needs to extend well beyond media to be meaningful.
    Back in November, when my agency, Story, was running Chrysler’s blog, a junior high school in Texas was warned by their printer that they couldn’t print their logo anymore (used on everything from uniforms and letterhead to the school seal, signs, and gym floor), as it was a trademarked Ram logo — unless they got written permission from Chrysler. The school then reached out for that permission, via Chrysler’s blog, Red Letter Dodge — and Chrysler lawyers said “No way, no how.” Rather than let an ugly “cease and desist” situation escalate, we suggested a third option: Reward the school for doing the right thing, and turn this into a social media victory for Chrysler, by having us design a new logo for the school that the kids would help craft and then own in perpetuity.

    Fast forward three months: We no longer work for Chrysler, but because of scheduling delays, the school still doesn’t have a logo. We don’t want to leave these kids in the lurch, so Story goes ahead with the plan, designing a series of six beautiful new logos for the school and meeting with them via video conference to make sure we’ve given them a logo that they’re excited about. A reporter from the Fort Worth Star Telegram is invited to observe one of our calls, and does a nice feel-good story about a New York ad firm helping out the kids. When Chrysler is asked for a comment, they say they have no idea what’s going on (completely missing how truly honest that answer was).

    Meanwhile, Chrysler’s lawyers have been busy, going after other schools that use the Ram logo, including one school in Florida whose plight caught the attention of NPR (and then Fast Company…and more to come…).

    If anyone needs any ammo to convince a client that it’s crucially important to manage the social media conversation about their brand, just show them the two articles below.

    Article about Story and the Bailey Rams:

    Article about Chrysler going after a school in Florida:

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