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Dale Carnegie & Social Marketing – How it Differs from Traditional Marketing, Part 2

Last week I told you about how social marketing and traditional marketing differ: how using traditional marketing tactics on social sites is like being cornered at a party, listening to a guy who is only talking about himself.

Social requires a different mind set, and it is one that is foreign to traditional marketers. It’s also one that is learnable.

What’s interesting, though, is that the principles that guide good social marketing are not new business concepts. In fact, the basic principles were first described in 1936 in the best selling book by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

 In that book, Carnegie stated that you could influence other people’s behavior in a business situation by the positive way you behaved toward them. In an era of fast-talking salesmen, this was a revolutionary idea for business people, and it remains very relevant to social marketers today.

Carnegie examined behaviors in four different areas:

  1. Handling People,
  2. Ways to Make People Like You,
  3. How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking,
  4. How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment.

Let’s examine the second one, Ways to Make People Like You. When marketing on social sites, this topic has the most relevance.

To get people to like you, your business or its products and services, you should apply the following principles to your social marketing:

  1. Principle 1:     Become genuinely interested in other people,
  2. Principle 2:     Smile,
  3. Principle 3:     Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and
    most important sound in any language,
  4. Principle 4:     Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves,
  5. Principle 5:     Talk in terms of the person’s interests,
  6. Principle 6:     Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

One of the best ways to include these principles in your social marketing is to ask questions in your posts, and encourage your followers to talk about themselves in their answers (Principle 4). This is a great way to gain insight into your fans.

When you reply, do so in a light, happy manner (Principle 2) and be genuinely interested in what they have to say (Principle 1).  Follow Principle 3, and use the person’s name in your replies. It’s a nice, personal touch, and people love to hear and see their name used.

If you’re asking the right questions, and are “listening” to their answers, you’ll understand what interests your followers, and be able to position your reply in those terms (Principle 5).

Above all, though, you should always attempt to make that person feel important (Principle 6). People have a deep desire to be appreciated. When you can make them feel that way, you satisfy that need and will have the ability to influence them.

Carnegie’s principles, when adopted as social marketing tactics, stand in stark contrast to traditional marketing.

Social marketing takes the form of sincere questions in the spirit of wanting to get to know your followers, “listening” to their responses, and sharing relevant information that helps them get what they want.

Carnegie investigated and identified principles for dealing with people that can be summed in a simple sentence: Treat others the way you want to be treated, with interest, respect and kindness.

Can you think of a better way?


Bob Turner is a certified Social Marketing and experienced Digital Marketing professional with Engage321.


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