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December 23, 2009


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» Social media marketing explained in 61 words from ProductMarketing.com
It's amazing how many companies are still using "old school" marketing. David Meerman Scott explains today's marketing in Web Ink Now: Social media marketing explained in 61 words. It's a long video but the first few minutes are key:You can buy attenti... [Read More]


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Richard Bailey

That's good, but it cries out for a fourth 'b':

You can 'build' attention...?

David Meerman Scott

@ Richard - Good idea! I'm no poet. Maybe I'll try that at my next speaking gig.

Stuart Foster

Haha, I tried to do the same in 25 (or so?) a little while back:

Like yours a lot better :)

Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Great summary!! It's all about creating valuable media and making it available to particular types of people who can use, it share it and look to you as their chief source for more of the same!


For the sake of discussion...

When you write that check to the writers, video producers etc. so you can have white papers, posts, videos etc., how does this differ from buying attention/advertising?

And when you tweet about your new ebook, how does that differ from begging for attention/PR?

And when you send me pointless emails every other day because you got my address when I downloaded the whitepaper - how does that differ from bugging people/sales?

And when you consistently deliver unique value to your customers - and they, in turn, shout about that experience to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and colleagues...isn't that earning business for the reason you opened your doors?

Now, business owner, you have limited resources - should you invest them in the customer experience or in a blog, white papers, videos...

Just asking. And I don't mean to downplay the role of SM in helping businesses attract, engage, convert and retain profitable customers...but the 3 point comparison is a wee bit too simplistic for my tastes.


David Meerman Scott


Thanks for jumping in.

Yes, of course this is simplistic - it's just 61 words!

The speech is much longer and goes into much more detail.

I do not advocate doing just one thing. If advertising, PR and sales is working, that's great. And yes, it is a mashup of a lot of things.

However, most organizations are ignorant or fearful of my 4th way and any way I can get people to notice is good.


marti garaughty

David, David, David... what a perfect 61 words.

Elegant simplicity that even those who still don't get it, should be able to understand.

John Nemo

David have you ever considered putting all your videos/talks into Podcast form on the iTunes store? I'd love to track you and your content that way rather than have to sit online on a computer and watch a 45 minute presentation. If that makes sense. Finding more and more people wanting mobile media content so we can learn something on our iPhone while commuting or treadmilling.

Keith Jennings

David, I'm a sucker for alliteration and liked Richard's suggestion for adding a fourth "b": build.

However, I believe what is communicated with the word "earn" is much more accurate than what is communicated with the word "build." After all, we can build anything (even through buying/begging/bugging), but what we build won't necessarily earn attention, authority and access.

For what it's worth...

Heidi Cool

Great summation of the core ideas behind social media marketing. And the video rocks, I'm going to share it with clients. Getting people to lose their fear, let go of control, blog about dogs instead of dog food, ditch the jargon, etc. all coincides with what I've been trying to tell people, and your examples really support that message. (It was also a good reminder that I've got to make time to finish the e-book I've been working on!)

Stephen Eugene Adams

David, Great use of 61 word and I loved your book ("New Rules..."). Being in the printing business, we are not only trying to figure this stuff out to market our own business, but we are trying to become expert in the new marketing so that we can become marketing and communications consultants. We realize that if we rely on our legacy printing business, we will continue to see declines in our revenues. Every day we become more and more comfortable in our conversations with our customers about all ramifications of marketing in this digital age.

Randy Botti

I love simplicity, I work with a lot a small businesses that already have too much complication in their lives and don't me to bring in more. I try to show them how SIMPLE Social Media (or Wala`au Media) and Inbound marketing is. Be Useful and earn!

Good one David - BTW, just listened to the IMU presentation you did.

Colette Barry

Great video. Very informative David. Funny how long it takes us to catch up the the tech of today. Creatures of habit I suspect.

David Meerman Scott

Thank all for the comments.

John Nemo - good idea. It would be good to figure out a way make a bunch of video available in smaller snippets.


nick morgan

Hey, David -- I'm reminded of Churchill, who said, 'if you want a three-hour speech, I can be ready in 10 minutes. If you want a 10 minute speech, I'll need three days'. It's always harder to crystallize the wisdom into a few words. Nice job. But don't stop giving speeches!

Promotional Products

What a simple way to look at and explaing social media. I appreciate your insight and website. I will pass it along to twitter and social media doubters.


perfect explanations for today's marketing, excellent post!



I like how you get right to the point and explain the different ways for marketing. Thank you for sharing.

Dorai Thodla

Like the concept of Building Attention and contrasting it with Buy, Beg, Bug. May want to call the 4Bs of marketing.


David Meerman Scott

Ha - Love it. The 4Ps are now the 4Bs

brian trane

Very good idea to attain the attention and advertise as well, thanks for sharing.

Pete Kistler

Great post David,

Inbound marketing (creating valuable content for your target audience for free) and promoting that content via social media is effective, fun, and you get quality interaction with your target audience that "buying" and "begging" lack (comments, tweets, etc). That translates into better products, better service, and happier customers.

- Pete Kistler
CEO, Brand-Yourself.com

Brianne Douglas- Internet Marketing Manager

Thank you for bringing out the simplicity of this often over complicated & misunderstood form of internet marketing. You might also be interested in the following blog about using twitter to get "attention" for your business http://www.cmdsonline.com/blog/making-twitter-relevant-to-your-business/.

how to get him back

Great article!Social media is a good way to network with other professionals.The more you network within communities like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc, the more your brand is going to be exposed to others.Thanks for sharing such a useful information.


That's key of social media marketing. Thanks for the article.

courtney lambert @cjlambert

Great post although PR as begging doesn't quite sit right with me. Possibly if you are only doing proactive, brand work but media relations and reactive (government, not for profit, crisis comms) don't quite fit. Just being fussy :P

David Meerman Scott


Thanks for the comment.

I only used 61 words... Hard to qualify my statement.

Regarding PR as "begging" - I am a contributing editor at EContent Magazine, I write for Huffington Post, I write this blog and have a bunch of twitter followers and I have published 5 books.

I get over 200 pitches a week.

195 of them feel like begging to me.



I'm with Pat on this one, as both a consumer and an independent contractor. There's a local pest company that has a great blog, but now that I have termites, I'm still going to ask my friends and family who they use and why. And when it comes to my own business, 95% of my new customers have come from direct referrals from happy clients. If you have the bandwidth to do great work and social media (including creating free content like white papers and reports), great. It can't hurt and may help. But if you don't have that bandwidth, prioritize doing great work - for many businesses, highly targeted traditional marketing is still the most affordable (accounting for money AND time) complement to word of mouth.


Hi David! I just got to know about you as i've recently bought your book : the new rules of marketing and PR. It has been a great help to my Internet business! I can't be thankful enough (:

Andy Hussong JV Attraction Formula

I really do believe that in order to be successful in marketing your business, you need to know the right way of getting the public's attention.

Affiliate Program Manager

This is one of the best guides to using social marketing that I’ve read. If someone is confused about this subject you have really a haze dis-solver here. Thanks for the post!

Proposal Software

You have explained the entire concept of social media in only 61 words, its incredible because it\s a long topic but you done well to accumulate the important things. The social media is very easy and simple provided you dont make it difficult. We can easily make lots of friends and corporate relations and ultimately get business and high rankings on Google as well.

Colin Warwick

Thanks! Now you need a contest to boil it down into a 140 character tweet :-)

Here's a starter:

Don’t buy it with ads. Don’t beg for it with PR. Don’t bug individuals with cold calls for it. No, earn attention by creating great content.

David Meerman Scott

Good one Colin! Thanks.

David Meerman Scott

But now nobody can RT it.


I see your point, the three Bs (buy, beg, bug) would probably generate some attention but that would probably be for want of a better word,forced . But if you could create something interesting, the attention that it would generate would be more genuine and could probably lead to whatever you want to promote going viral and we have seen how well that has done in the past.

Web Design Jacksonville Florida   

Great summary of the primary thoughts behind public networking advertising. And the video stones, I'm going to reveal it with customers. Getting individuals to reduce their worry, let go of control, weblog about pets instead of dog food, dump the info, etc. all correlates with what I've been trying to tell individuals, and your illustrations really assistance that concept.


I really do believe that in order to be successful in marketing your business, you need to know the right way of getting the public's attention.


Social media marketing is vast. That's where you can choose your target audience and plan your back link-generating strategy. In my opinion the best way to popularize your websites or brands faster is by online video marketing. Just prepare a nice video briefing about your services and upload it on the social networking sites. It will definitely get you more back links.

Sharon Thomas

This is a lovely article. You have done it man. Perfect explanation in 61 words. Your buy, beg and bug is a wonderful idea. Thank you for the post.

Jacksonville Web Design

Social Media Marketing is good but it's not for all businesses. The best thing to do before you go out and spend money on marketing using Facebook, Twitter or other outlets is to make sure it is right for you or your biz. Using games, and ways to attract likers is good but only if it will amount to a sale or conversion. One can waste a lot of time on attracting fans, so be careful.

Linda Moses

Excellent Presentation!!!

Nathan Scott

Short and simple but very good info. Thanks.


You just follow the AIDA process.Simple Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. If you provide all four things in one service or product then you easily attract clients and customers.

John Minneapolis

Informative presentation! I don't think we can explain a topic with 61 words. However, you did it! very clear... Thanks!

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