Inigo Montoya Was Right About Social Media Too

If I asked you about social media, would you conjure up images of Facebook and Twitter?

And did you also think, "I haven't got the time to waste on such mindless drivel"?

Ah … but wait! In the unforgettable words of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Will the REAL Social Media Please Stand Up …

Forget what you think you know about social media. I'll buy you a beer if you read this entire post and can honestly say "Yes, I knew all that." Seriously. If we ever meet, the beer is on me.

Let's first turn to Wikipedia, a bastion of social media. Go there and you'll read that:

"Social media is content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content."

Not what you thought?

What most people think of as "social media" is in reality "social networking." There's a huge difference, and if you're going to live on the beach while working part time on your web business, you'll need to understand the differences.

Both are highly useful. They weave in and out of each other like two lovers on a moon-lit tropical beach, so it's easy to confuse them as one giant sea creature.

Social media is information in the form of content – articles, white papers, special reports, video, audio, and other forms of content. It's social in that it is meant to be shared.

There are tools specifically designed to share content:

  • Blogs: Blogger, Wordpress …
  • Content Management Systems: Joomla, Drupal, and high-end proprietary systems..
  • Video sharing: Youtube, Blip, Dailymotion, Viddler … (there are about 20)
  • Audio sharing: Podcast Pickle, Podcast Alley, The Podcast Network …

Social networking is how people communicate with each other online. Sometimes they communicate about content (social media) and sometimes they just blather on (and on, and on … ).

There are tools specifically designed for social networking (communication):

  • Twitter (did you know that Shaq has over a million followers?)
  • LinkedIn
  • User Forums
  • The "old" Facebook and MySpace

And … this is where it gets tricky … there are tools that facilitate communication AND share content:

  • The "new" Facebook
  • Teleseminars (audio conference calling)
  • Webinars (video and audio)
  • Twitter (it can serve both masters)
  • LinkedIn (it also serves both masters)

Use The Right Tool For The Right Job

As a web marketer and entrepreneur, you'll be eons ahead of the pack once you understand how to use the right tool. After all, the ultimate goal is to make a pile of money for you and/or your client … right?

Non-marketers use the social media and social networking tools primarily for connection. They want to belong.

Marketers use the tools for BOTH purposes – to connect with, bond with, and communicate with their prospects and customers … AND they use the tools to make money.

Here's my 7-step "Get Social Money Machine" (in a very tiny nutshell):

  1. Get online and start connecting with people through Twitter and Facebook (their use is growing, while the use of Hi5, MySpace and LinkedIn is shrinking).
  2. Create valuable content – a blog with articles and video.
  3. Use social tools to share your content: video syndication tools (YouTube, etc.); blog syndication tools (RSS, blogging communities, Syndd) to share your blog entries.
  4. Create a fan page on Facebook and start sharing your blog posts and videos to your Facebook community.
  5. Tweet your blog posts: Install a "plugin" on your blog that automatically "Tweets" your blog post to Twitter.
  6. Get Social: Once you've got a list of fans and followers, host a couple of free content-rich webinars that you announce to your fans and followers. To attend they must provide name and email address. They'll announce it to their friends and followers.
  7. Make money: If you read my previous blog post, you know what to do next … lead them down the path of becoming raving fans who will buy anything from you.

And PLEASE (with pretty hearts and flowers) …

Remember that the foundation of social media and social networking is the SOCIAL element. Your FIRST order of business is to connect. If you are providing value through your connections, then you will be rewarded by having many fans, followers, and eventually paying customers.

One final note: A recent $499 webinar was filled entirely through blogging, Twitter and Facebook. The marketers who created the webinar raked in well over a million dollars, with NO advertising costs and NO shipping or product costs.

Yes, Dorothy. We're certainly not in Kansas anymore.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 3.4
Published: June 3, 2009

7 Responses to “Inigo Montoya Was Right About Social Media Too”

  1. Yup. Media and Networking are not the same. "Use the right tool for the right job..."

    Robert Nomura

  2. Thanks for laying this out here. Most folks out there using social media and social networking really are clueless. Resources like this will go a long way to bringing order to their chaotic lives.

    I appreciate you,

    Bill Tessore

    Bill Tessore

  3. Several months ago I would have owed you the beer but now .. You are right, however, a great many people do indeed get social media confused with social networking. The seven steps you outline provide an great road map for people to follow. I find the second step (producing value-oriented content) a really key aspect and one people often neglect. I would also like to thank you for mentioning some of the social pod casting sites; ok, so maybe we'll have to go dutch on the beers!

    Thx, Jim H.

    Jim Hickey

  4. Great explanation of social media and social marketing. This is, as you pointed out, confusing to people. When we are doing business online and wanting to utilize social marketing, we need to understand the differences between social media and social marketing. It is helpful to have a step by step plan with action steps that keep marketers focused on getting results. The idea to have our marketing linked back to our main source of valuable content, and consistently creating new content are key.


  5. Hi 5 folks - loved the fabric of this post especially the seven well thought out 7-step "Get Social Money Machine" (in a very tiny nutshell) the seventh you might as well have left off - I think swapping content in the Social media Social networking arena is not the place you should go to just make money yes you can do business but not just make money its a fact that if you swap well thought out planned key word rich content the search engines will pick up on it and from there front pages buyers should flock to your page with credit cards at the ready and make you that much cash you can come back too this blog and buy Sid Smith a brewery - now that's what I call Social Media Networking!

    All my best to you and your pretty hearts and flowers Phillip Skinner

    Simple Health Exercises

  6. Hi Sid,

    Great article. I particularly like seeing how rapidly social media tools are advancing.

    I really like tumblr, it picks up feeds from many of my blogs and in turn my Twitter automatically picks up any posts made on tumblr. The way all this stuff interconnects is mind boggling.

    I also use DisQus comment feature on my post which allows me to tweet a comment made by a visitor, post it to tumblr, or other platforms.

    More and more it's becoming super easy for people to share content, so putting out information that people will want to talk about will be the only way to get noticed soon enough.

    Steve Anderson

  7. Thanks for the clarification. You are right they are so many people that get confused with social media and social network.
    Understanding social media can give you a competitive edge and once you know how to use it, it is a very powerful for internet marketer. I was reading the other day that social media could be compared to Internet in the late 90s. Everyone was speaking about it not too sure of its evolution... well if social media takes the same path it is worth spending some time on it.


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)