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7 March  2010 ~

A couple of months back, I flew in to speak to a crowd of business execs down in the Deep South. It was a rainy and raw day, really the type of day that made you want to roll over and go back to sleep but a larger than expected sized group turned out. I started off that speech with a simple question – “What is Social Media”?

To some it’s simply the new tech tool on the internet, to others, it’s something their kids use, while others are completely befuddled by it. Unfortunately, with all the hype, the core of social media generally gets overlooked mainly because it is so subtle.

Social Media at its core is literally a “conversation on steroids”. These “conversations” can promote a business, impact business productivity and negatively shock a business too. Who’s already conversing online? Literally all the key parties to one’s business success – prospects, customers, employees, business partners, and most importantly competitors.

At the end of the presentation, a few CEO’s came up to me, and with perfect southern hospitality thanked me for my time. They also mentioned social media wasn’t working for them. They were offering discounts, upcoming sales dates and other insight about their products or services but getting zero results. I asked them if when they “conversed” in person, would this be all they talked about too. They laughed and said they would almost never bring this up. …and herein lay the problem, while they were extremely hospitable in person, their business social media was the exact opposite and had the social media effect of “bragging”.

The takeaway – social media is a conversation. The goal is to convert that conversation into a relationship and build trust with your audience. Think about what trust generates… it generates results, whether that means looking for a new job or gaining new customers, all other things being equal, we always do business with those we trust first.


About the CFO Strategist
Chris is very proud to add Best Selling author to his resume. The book he co-authored, 42 Rules for 24 Hour Success on LinkedIn reached best seller status on Amazon, hitting a high of #68 across all of Amazon! Recently the book was included in the “Top 100 Best Social Media Books, Ever” list at #77

  • To purchase the book, please go to or to Amazon.
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  1. You are so right, Chris. Social media is a way to BRING VISIBILITY TO you / your company / your products versus SELL you / your company / your products. It’s like the subtle difference in recruiting … recruiters don’t find jobs for people, they fill open positions. Understanding the distinction is key.

    In advertising, you interrupt someone’s life with a message they may or may not want. In social media, you invite your target audience to engage with you.

    Comment by Cindy Kraft March 8, 2010 @ 5:31 am
  2. Thanks Cindy. Great point! Social media is chock full of nuances and subtleties. Many of us “overlook” them and then wonder why SM is not being particularly effective for a business or a job search

    Comment by Chris March 8, 2010 @ 6:50 pm
  3. Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

    Comment by Career Advice March 14, 2010 @ 7:20 am

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