I wanted to thank the Williamson County Chamber for including me in the First Friday panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities for using Social Media in business today.  As the conversation was about to close, I suggested to my fellow panelists that we might publish a list of resources that we find helpful in our own social media efforts.

Below find a listing and comments about great resources you can draw from, and the twitter personalities that I follow.  In the process of assembling this list, I found myself thinking about the concept of measuring social media “results” – a topic we discussed on the panel at length, which tends to dominate concerns any business owner who is exploring social media might focus on.  I’ve been thinking about results vs. the idea that social media is about learning.

The universe of “social media” tools available to help the creative mind make better connections with others is expanding so fast that it’s hard to determine which tool is right for your business.

It requires a real effort to gain a certain minimal level of mastery of that tool, so when you’re participating in the social media experience, you’re using it effectively.

Social media tools are themselves evolving rapidly.  If you don’t have the expertise yourself, you must invest time, money and effort to assess and develop a strategy, then measure the results.  We are compelled to measure results because we are consuming resources to service the social media experience.

The “results” are not easy to measure because relationships are not easy to measure.  How do you  judge the quality of the relationship you have with a customer?   When you are face to face, or even on the phone with a customer, think of all the inputs available to you to “measure” the experience.  When the customer is online, you are still in a relationship, but operating at a sensory deficit.

“It’s hard enough to be successful without believing you can’t do it in the first place.”

If you’re like me, you don’t measure the quality of a relationship based on simple inputs like the number of interactions, or the dollar sales you make to that customer, or the fact they did or did not complain about something.  The depth and quality of a relationship is a very complex determination.  We all make that determination as we “measure” and “judge” friendships, people and outcomes.

But in social media, the business professional is questioning and seeking the right metric to measure it.

Key metrics exist.  My fellow panelist Kate O’Neill (@kateo) is an expert in this area, she gave attendees great advice and her company [meta]marketer can give you more ideas.  My point here is that social awareness, or social IQ is developed over time, with experience and effort.  It’s called learning.  People with low social IQ make a lot of mistakes and easily offend.  They have a lot to learn, and people with no social experiences are pretty obvious.

If you have no social media experience, it follows that your Social Media IQ is low, and it’s pretty obvious.

The “online” customer is connecting with you and you are developing a relationship.  I’m less interested in measuring it than I am in learning from it.  The following list of resources are some of the sources of learning that I value.  It’s a short list of publishers and people who have helped me develop some competencies, so that I could raise my Social Media IQ — just a little bit.  I’ll get better results, by having more experiences.

SUBSCRIBE OR READ: Learn how to put employee engagement at the forefront with John Bernard’s book and subscribe to his blog.  You know you can’t do it all yourself in business.  The same is true in social media.  If you want your company to grow, you have to build an organization and empower.  The same is true in branding.  You must allow the company to speak, your people are its voice.  Social Media tools are the megaphone.  Seth Godin has a great voice.   Read him and you’ll see.  The Social Media Examiner will help you learn how to “do” social media.  My Emma offers a practical set of tools and, as a local company, you simply must visit their NASHVILLE office to see a culture of connection – building a business of connection.

The three winners from the chamber event: @joshbowling, @HMGsmg & @RobWestIII. Your copies are waiting at the Swiftwick office.


These are various examples of individuals and organizations that do an outstanding job building brand and relationships with Twitter.  If you have a son or daughter Tweeting – Follow them.

Finally, you can only raise your Social Media IQ by participating and, while there is no reason not to measure your efforts, just imagine these relationships are a long term investment, like any other valued relationship, and stay active in it.


  1. The historical purpose of the ad agency is to make connections between buyers and sellers – especially when a product is new, and/or the connections are new, inefficient or broken. When the ultimate and theoretical complete efficiency of social media is realized, there will be little or no use for paid message creations or paid mediums to make the connections. However, there will always be the need to create ideas about a product that people want to experience. Aside from the “trench,” yet critically important, task of finding and building connections, creating ideas is where true communications and advertising finds its most noble purpose. The only ad groups that survive today are those who find and implement tactical connections (including social pathways) and/or are those who worship at the alter of creating ideas that move humans to new places.

  2. Great list! Thanks for the shout-out. Really enjoyed presenting with you and Keith. We’ll have to dig deeper soon. All the best!

  3. Thanks for sharing Mark – it was great having you here at E|SPACES and valuable for our members! Really appreciate your insight and wit!

Comments are closed.