What Your 3rd Grade Teacher Taught You about Social Media Marketing

In my travels, I speak to a variety of people about the in’s and out’s of social media marketing.  There’s a good mix of people that understand how to engage in social media: what to post and how to engage in conversation. 

But then there are those folks who simply do not have a clue what to do with their new Twitter accounts or Facebook company pages.  For this group I shout to you, please read below!

Your 3rd grade teacher taught you 3 critical points about social media marketing, and you probably didn’t even know it:

  1. “If you have something to say, and it has nothing to do with the class’s discussion, tell me on your own time.”
    When you see engaging, thought-provoking commentary going on in LinkedIn’s Q&A section, for example, don’t leave a post about your latest and greatest gadget and how the only way anyone will succeed is if they buy it from you.  Instead, offer a valuable response and solution to the question; people will see you as a valuable resource and an expert in your field.  If you feel you can answer this person’s question with a solution utilizing your product or service, send them a direct message and engage them outside of the group discussion.
  2. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
    I may say to Ms. A., I agree and disagree.  I agree, if you feel you have a vendetta against others in your network, business or industry, or you feel that someone is out to get you, so you strike first, don’t.  Let it go.  With the power of viral marketing, word (true or untrue) spreads very quickly.  However, I also disagree.  Using social media to voice a concern or offer constructive criticism can work in your favor.  Many companies are using microblogs like Twitter to capture, resolve and execute solutions to consumers’ issues.  Doing so provides a whole new level of customer service, of which you will benefit.
  3. “Respect each other as you wish to be respected.  I will have no tolerance for bullies in my classroom.”
    This goes without saying.  Just because you’re online hiding behind your smartphone or computer, does not mean you can be a jerk.  Just as you would in a physical social scene, you want to be cordial to other “party-goers” so that people treat you with the respect that you wish to receive.  Who knows, you may even find that a kind marketer gets his/her word spread quicker and is more credible…

Stay Social,


A Teacher and a Marketer walk into the store…

So what do a teacher and a marketer have in common?  Well, let’s see…

  • They both engage and educate their audience
  • They both set goals
  • And, they are both looking for outcome

I often receive gasps of amazement when I tell people I was an elementary/special education teacher.  “And now you work in marketing…?!”  I think well, yeah, why wouldn’t I be in marketing

When I made the switch, I knew to apply the same rules of a teacher to my marketing campaigns.  As marketers we have to educate our audience about our products and services.  We show value and the return on the investment.  Educators teach children about investing in their education, and their futures will be brighter; Marketers teach customers that investing in their products, they will be better service providers for their customers.

We both set goals to make sure that we hit our benchmarks, learn from our mistakes, and repeat those techniques that have worked well for us in the past.  We look for outcome.  We help people get to their outcome.  To a teacher and a marketer, each definition of success is different, but the ways in which we get there is remarkably the same.

So I ask you, would you be able to tell the difference between a teacher and a marketer if you saw them at the store?