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With Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer

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After Alison ran a successful Nursing bra company, Nummies and Scott packed his agency in after a decade of leading word-of-mouth marketing, they decided to join forces and never “work” again. Instead, they write books, record rantcasts, raise kids and are general misfits. They agree about just about everything, except Nickelback and Alison's love of beets and other vegetables. Oh, and they're best friends. :) Excited to be sharing this blog, Scott and Alison are looking forward to hanging out here with you. Welcome to That's My Bestie, grab a seat and stay awhile.

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9 Things That Are Definitely Not Social Media Problems

By Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer |

It was a huge week around here.

I got to see Scott hand in his third book manuscript, for QR Codes Kill Kittens. How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees and Drive your Business into the Ground.”

Clearly the best book title of all time.  It’s going to be available in bookstores near you, and online, in the fall.

Can’t lie to you.  I’ve read it, and the book is amazing and has this kitten on the cover…bookcover

You’re welcome for that.

Over the past year while putting it together, one of the things that kept coming up is how many problems in business everyone is so quick to blame on social media.

Everything from horrible hiring practices, bad customer service stories, even terrible products are all blamed on social.

And we think someone needs to defend her.

It’s just not fair. Or true. Or helpful to anyone or their businesses to think every problem is a social media problem.

Here are a few of our favourites.

1.  People complaining about your product online is not a social media problem.

“Scott, we have a problem with social media.  People keep going on there and complaining about our products.  We just don’t know what to do!?”

Well, for starters, how about you make a better product.

This is a quality problem.  Social media can’t make your horrible product better.  And keeping people from talking about just how bad it is can’t be fixed with a social media “strategy” If you want people to say good things about your company, go ahead and run a great company

2.  No one replying to your Facebook invite is not a social media problem

“Scott, I just don’t understand why no one replied to our invite for an untargeted (geographically or topically) event that we sent out to 2000 + people we took no time to get to know??”

Clearly Facebook is broken.

3.  Customers sharing their terrible experience at your restaurant, is not a social media problem.

fig 2.7






A little advice Scott likes to share from stage – “Listen closely. Never, ever assume she’s pregnant.  Unless she tells you to your face. Or you can see the head.

This. Is a rudeness problem.

4.  No one commenting on your blog isn’t a social media problem. 

  1. What are you writing about? If your blog is a glorified brochure, no one is going to read it.  Let alone comment.  You need to think about your audience and what they want to read.  Of course, you want to share your newest sale or product launch, but why should they care?
  2. Have you grown a platform? The online world is a busy place.  Getting one comment means you have 100 times that in readership.  Focus on getting the readers first, write about something they care about and you are passionate about, and comments will come.
  3. Seriously. How hard have you made it to comment?  Are your comments moderated?  How much information does someone need to give to leave one?  If you have people reading your blog, you shouldn’t make it hard for them to comment.

5.  Sending out a tweet like this isn’t a social media problem. 

fig 4.6



This is a hiring problem.  Time and time again we hear about how important it is to “implement a strict social media policy.”  You have hired these people right?  They didn’t just stumble in off the street and start tweeting on your behalf.  Why would you want someone who would speak this way about your constituency working in your office?

Hire less morons and the percentage of mistweets will decrease.

How’s that for a policy?

7.  No one replying to your tweets isn’t a social media problem.

If you walked into a room full of people and started talking, didn’t care about what anyone else was saying, or why they were there.  You just walked around shouting.

How do you think that would go?

If you don’t spend time replying and talking with people on social, no one is going to take the time to reply to you.  That is the secret of social media.  Treat it the way you would an in-person networking event.

“Twitter is a conversation, not a dictation.” Scott Stratten.

(also don’t quote yourself, no one likes that)

8.  Your PR campaign falling flat isn’t a social media problem.

Working with bloggers and social media people is an art and some people are really good at it.  For every person who is, there are about three-dozen who aren’t.  We get a lot of flack for only focusing on negative PR stories, but its almost impossible not to.

I never get tired of hearing stories from Scott about hilariously untargeted product information he gets.  Looking for someone to test out your women’s athletic gear?  You may have the wrong person.

And when someone says no thanks, remember to stop trying.  It’s not anyone’s’ job to delete your bad PR emails.  It is your job not to send them.

9. The world finding out your company employs someone like this, isn’t a social media problem.

taco bell


So the employee in question is “in the process of being fired.”  Taco Bell issued a statement that the photo was taken as part of an “internal contest” and that the shells were never served to any actual customers.

This is a communication problem between the company and the individual who shared the photo (violating the companies social media policies). Or a hiring problem.  OR simply horrible taste.  But either way, social media is a tool.  And so is this guy…


What do you see being blamed on social media that isn’t its fault?

Horrible parenting? Justin Beiber?

We’d love to hear them. And we won’t even make you give your social security number to leave a comment.  If ya want more information about QR Codes Kill Kittens, or other awesome from UnMarketing check out 

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About Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer


Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer

After Alison ran a successful nursing bra company, Nummies and Scott packed his agency in after a decade of leading word-of-mouth marketing, they decided to join forces and never “work” again. Instead, they write books, record rantcasts, raise kids and are general misfits. Read bio and latest posts → Read Scott Stratten and's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “9 Things That Are Definitely Not Social Media Problems

  1. First, thanks for the laugh. Second, you have brought up an excellent point. Social media is not a magic bullet and people will only buy, read, or comment if the product provides some sort of value to them. Start by thinking about what people want first, then think about a social media strategy.

  2. Dana Goldstein says:

    I am excited to hear there is a new book coming this fall. Great piece Scott & Alison.

  3. Amy says:

    This was a great post! On the flip side, I find a lot of bloggers use social media to trash PR people who aren’t necessarily “doing it wrong” and I find that to be so unnecessary and unprofessional. Delete and move on is my policy. Looking forward to Scott’s next book!

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