Dear Little Startup: Do You Suck? 22

Is this not an exciting prospect for most members of the human race? So why would you risk disappointing your already-excited customer?

As Gary Vaynerchuk recently and poignantly has said, social media is the icing on the cake of your marketing strategy. It’s not the cake itself. That said, it’s a pretty crucial part of the cake. Social media is essentially the new evolution of PR.

Social media buzz is just what people say about your brand, your company, and in the end, about you as the producer, the author, the creator, or the entrepreneur. Conversely, it’s also what you say about these things, and how other people respond or react to that message and to how it’s delivered. So, while personalities are part of social media, I think a lot of people may miss that the point is still the end product that you sell, and no static, stoic billboard sign will ultimately drown out the conversations that are going on all around your product.

I recently wrote about a product that I ordered, or more precisely, about how I didn’t get it, and then when I did, how it was not the product I had expected. Well, today I waited to write my post until the long-awaited doodad had arrived. And then I realized that it’s too late to shower the little store that sent it with praise (and a free link) for replacing the original damaged item free of charge, even with international shipping (it’s a paltry $8 in US currency).

Here’s why:

Originally when I ordered the item, I was excited about it. Super-excited. Excited enough to show it off to my friends online. Excited enough to even promote the overseas store that sold it (though many would not much appreciate that–it’s the only country that makes the item, just to be clear about that). In fact, I was pretty giddy about the whole thing. And now, when I reflect on what it took to get such an (arguably cheap) item intact via normal mail, and how it comes signature-required, and how many times I had to attempt to have the thing redelivered (and failed) and how by the time the replacement came for the originally damaged item came months later…well, I’m sorry, but the feeling has faded. It’s just  too late. That company now sucks. The experience now sucks, and in fact, most everything associated with it now sucks.

This could have been a love song to the company, and to the product, via my own out-loud enthusiasm for using the product to family and friends and lookers-on. Could have. And, knowing me, most probably would have.

Perhaps my mood will pass. Perhaps I just need more coffee. Perhaps my recent vacation in Yosemite has left me exhausted in a few different ways (must remember in future that vacations are for relaxing…). Whatever the reason or combination of reasons, the opportunity has passed and now it’s just a thingamabob that I may or may not use, from a company that I probably will never intentionally think of again.

Are you like the company that lets down your customers? Consider how delivery (whether physical or electronic) plays into your brand perception and how the enthusiasm, so easily-generated for you and your wares, can quickly turn to poison in the vein of your customer whom now has a mini-printing press in on their person 24-7. You want customers printing love songs to your outfit and your product, don’t you? So then, no excuses–make it happen. Chop-chop.

Photo Credit

Mark BrimmMark Brimm is Founder and Editor-in-Chief at and is author of AdWords University: The Complete Guide to AdWords and other previous related books on search marketing. He is currently working on a forthcoming book on social media strategy.

Mark consults on SEO & SEM, general web marketing and social media at Interface Communications Group where he is Partner and Director of Digital Marketing. Some of his specialties include SEO (search engine optimization), social media optimization (SMO), as well as PR campaign concepts, marketing plans and general web marketing related project management.

About Mark Brimm

Mark Brimm is President of, the Founder of, and runs a personal blog on social media, marketing and entrepreneurship at He also runs a blog on SEO & SEM at