I have a question for you. What friendships last longer? The ones you develop naturally over time, and through trust and shared experiences like getting busted for drinking in public or almost being trampled at an Iggy Pop concert? Or the ones where you pay someone fifty bucks to pretend they like you to make your frenemies jealous? Hint: It’s not the second one.
Now, realistically, you probably didn’t need that hint. Or, maybe you read Forbes.
Forbes is telling all of us the face of social media has changed after reading ‘Earn it, Don’t Buy it.’ by Ignite Social Media president Jim Tobin. Presented as a guide to navigating online marketing and promotion, Tobin is advising his readers of something a lot of entrepreneurs and small businesses have known for a long time: That real lasting connections with happy clients are more profitable than paying someone to talk about how great you are. In case you can’t tell, this next part is sarcasm: Holy crap, no really?
I don’t want to be trite here, because I realise I have grown up in the internet age, and have been exposed to a lot of advertisements with a niche focus on ‘individuality’ and ‘self expression’, and I spend 90 percent of my time on the internet and not isolated on a yacht reading things written by and for rich people. However, I don’t know what is more laugh out loud funny about the review: The amazed tone that the review has as you read along, or the fact that the book had to be written in the first place.
Tobin’s methodology is definitely different and exciting if you’ve been out of the trenches for awhile, but for the rest of us up to our necks in trying to make a go of a business, a startup, or really anything that isn’t backed by a million dollar budget and intense branding power, this news makes sense. Creating a product and having an honest, natural rapport with your clientele goes a long, long way in facilitating what clients want, which is a connection with their products and services.
I write a lot about how blogging has revolutionised media and how grassroots versions of large scale government and corporate entities are powerful and often force change on those with the cash to make decisions. I also don’t like to say things like this, but truthfully, the most power any of us will ever feel in a world run like this one is buying power, and doing so intelligently, has given us this: Magazines like Forbes advising businesses and business people to forge a genuine connection with their clients after years of ad men, and ad frenzies.
I don’t believe in reformation for the corporate world like some do, because I don’t think it’s relevant, but I do believe consumers have the sway to get what they want with smart spending. Tobin’s book, and Forbes’ review are just further proof the power is ours if we want it.