Plenty of companies and small businesses are curious now to learn how they can use social media to grow their businesses.  Unfortunately, far fewer businesses are willing to invest the time to understand what these tools are, and why people are so excited about using them.

A few nights ago, Amber Naslund put a one-word tweet on Twitter that perhaps encapsulated how she was feeling at that particular moment;


And she explains what happened next:
Within seconds, I received 24 (yes, 24, on a Friday night no less) replies from people asking what the matter was. I got another half dozen direct messages, some of which were from people I'd barely corresponded with but whose names and little 1″ faces I'd come to recognize. Everyone expressing concern and a desire to help.

And if you're a company that wants to start blogging, or start using Twitter, you need to understand why this happened.  It happened because people aren't on Twitter and aren't blogging so they will be in a position to receive your marketing messages.  They are using social media to connect with other people.

If you aren't willing to connect with your customers via social media as real people, then you are wasting everyone's time. 

November 24, 2008

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post,, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.


Hi Mack,

What's still amazing to me is that people I hardly know cared enough to ask if I was ok. Some I've met, some I've not. And that, to me, tells me of the power and potential of the *humanity* in this space. Just imagine if I'd really been a cause worth fussing over instead of just a tweep having a bad day.


I've been thinking about a conversation I had on this subject last week and woke up this morning deciding to write about it. How glad I am that you reminded me of Amber's tweet and the results.

Social media is more than customer service of the old fashioned kind and that has to be figured in when we make decisions of all kinds. Even as we who know and participate in social media every day, we can lose sight of the people who see us that way.

Amber and Liz, thanks for the comments. I think that companies can easily lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, many of us use social media tools to connect with others, and to STAY connected. Want to use those tools to connect with me? Fine, but it's going to require that you seriously change the way you look at 'marketing', and realize that if you want to connect with me via social media, it will be on MY terms, not yours.

Some companies are doing a great job with social media. One of the local skate shops in my community has a great face book page and they run it well. Its about connecting with your customers where they want to connect with you and getting to know them. IF you olny push products you will not succeed - join the conversation and customers/ users will respond.

Marshall I would be interested in seeing the skate shop's FB page, can you share their name/link so we can see it?

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