Social media is dead; long live word of mouth!

My friend Oliver recently read Naomi’s post on how we killed social media and wrote a reply that inspired me to share my own opinion on the matter.

Naomi’s point is that unscrupulous marketers found the loopholes in social media like Digg, Twitter, and, and filled them full of crap. Now they’re not helping anyone anymore, because everything is so full of crap. The loopholes have been closed. There’s no free lunch and there are no corners to cut. You can no longer interrupt people into paying attention to you.

It seems hopeless, doesn’t it?

It seems like an endless spiral of greed and oversaturation. But it’s not hopeless, and here’s why.

As spammy marketers flood social media more and more, people are getting hungrier and hungrier for real quality and real people. The people who are honest and have something of value to say and to offer will shine through like diamonds in the rough. They may not shine through on Digg, Twitter, or, but they’ll shine through where it counts — in the opinions of your friends and other people you trust.

Now that social media is broken, people will fall back to the old way of doing things: having conversations with their friends. And if your friends find a diamond in the rough — if they find something remarkable — they’ll tell you about it.

So, if you’re a small business owner, what does this mean to you?

Your friends telling their friends about you seems irrelevant, right? I mean, you can only have so many friends, and each of them can only have so many friends. So how do you get your small business to grow?

The answer: There are just two things you need to succeed. You need to be REMARKABLE and AUTHENTIC.

You need to be remarkable to get people to make remarks about you. You can’t pay for fake remarkableness anymore, because the only remarks that people listen to these days are remarks that come from trusted sources. To be remarkable, you must be valuable and you must be worth talking about.

You need to be authentic to get people to trust you. People have been burned too many times by fake viral marketing campaigns and corporate blogs that preach transparency while actually lying through their teeth.

Seth talks about how criticism hurts his feelings and gets him down. Naomi posts sweet things about her son. Havi talks about feeling lonely. Steve admits stupid things he did when he was a teenager.

These things make you human. These things make you real. These things let the person on the other side of the screen know that they’re interacting with a real human being and not just some faceless marketing whore. And yes, people can trust brands, but for small businesses, that’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is that people trust people.

Seth, Naomi, Havi, Steve — Kyeli and I consider all these people our friends, even if it’s only a one-way deal. (That’s how you can break through the monkeysphere.) We trust them. We recommend them. We tell our friends how awesome we think they are. We’re doing so right now, in fact. (:

Next time you find yourself knee-deep in SEO or with your nose to the social media grindstone, just remember: Be remarkable. Be authentic. That’s all you need.

If it wasn’t, you never would have found this article. (;

Feel clear and confident about your direction in life!


Do you wish you could follow your heart, but it seems impossible? I can help you find the clarity and courage you need.

In other words, I can help you find your path.