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Social Media Marketing for Business

Dennis Yu


January 21, 2015

If You Want to Be a Successful Marketer, You Have to Make It about THEM

January 21, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

You’re a busy small business marketer.
You’re no nonsense and care about sales– no time for fluff.

So you have post after post on the social networks trying to drive direct conversions.
Yet these don’t seem to work.

Your posts get hardly any engagement and you notice this is due to you having hardly any reach.
Facebook is just trying to hustle us business owners to pay for exposure, you say.

Indignant, you threaten to move to Pinterest, Instagram, or the other networks.
Yet you encounter the same situation, since these social networks operate on the same principles.
In fact, it’s the same people that run these companies, as they change jobs every few years, lusting the next IPO.

We see this same situation play out most of the time when working with entrepreneurs.
They have a marketing funnel that is empty on Audience, weak on Engagement, and all concentrated on Conversion.


It’s like planting your tomato seeds and pulling them out of the ground 15 seconds later to check for vegetables.
Like the courtship process, you must nurture your customers through stages before popping the question.

As it relates to social media, we think the most powerful secret is to praise your customers.
Lift up individual customers and share their stories.

Celebrate that one young man was the first in his family to get a college degree.
Rejoice that the local community bank was able to feed 3,000 this Christmas, partly with your volunteer support.
Do something that shows you truly care about your customers.

And when you make them feel special– putting their name in lights, something magical happens.
THEY become your marketing engine– they do the marketing for you.
Their words carry far more trust than yours ever will, especially among their friends.

If you still believe in “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, true compliments are gold.
People love to hear their names and talk about themselves, especially when praise is honest.

You don’t want to be “that guy” who only wants to talk about his stuff.
You’ve seen that person who views everyone as a target– a wallet to be pilfered, not a human being to be loved.

Tron Jordheim is CMO at Storage-Mart, a national chain of self-storage facilities.

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Scintillating, I know, right?

But rather than talk about boring move-in specials, he knows that all storage units are just steel boxes.
It’s the people, the service, and how they treat you that matters.

So his team created the StorageMart Gives Facebook page to talk about everything except selling storage units.
They talk about how to organize your home when relatives come over, share funny Tetris-like pictures of neat freak storage units, the latest episode of Storage Wars, or a charity they’re supporting.


07a161cMatthew Melander is head of social media for Direct Auto Insurance.
Car insurance isn’t any more exciting than storage, but they know how to have some fun.

Over Christmas, they surprised random customer, employees, and the general public with things like ice cream, paying their bills, and buying their gas.

Of course, they had some ad dollars behind it to ensure reach.

These companies are measuring the impact of building audience and engagement– to see how many quotes they get for auto insurance and storage rentals.  They know how many people are more likely to search Google for Storage-Mart or Direct Auto when it’s time to rent a space or get insurance.

They then can calculate the value of their social media efforts over time.

When you make it about THEM, you don’t get the immediate sale, but you do get loyalty over the long term.

You don’t get to decide when they buy, but you know they’ll be choosing you when it’s time, because of what their friends said and what you stand for.

What are you doing to elevate your customers and grow your community presence?

Are you also measuring the value of these efforts through the funnel, backed by clear goals, content, and targeting?



Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults.

Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.

He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit.

Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CBS Evening News and is co-author of Facebook Nation – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities.

He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo.

He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70 mile ultramarathon.

Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you.

You can contact him at, his blog, or on Facebook.