Yesterday I picked up a handful of flyers off my driveway.

Twice a week, I get a pile of tangible spam delivered directly to my driveway; and as far as I can see, there is no “opt-out” or “unsubscribe” button. It seems to just drop out of the sky.

I decided to take a look at the flyers, and with every second or third ad that I looked at, I saw those all too familiar lines…

“Follow us on Facebook”

“Follow us on Twitter”

So naturally, I eagerly rushed over in a fit of excitement, opened my laptop, clicked into Facebook, and began following all my favourite local businesses. (sarcasm)

In all honesty, I did take a look at a few of them, but I didn’t find anything too exciting.

Most businesses are jumping on the social media train but don’t have any rhyme or reason as to why they’re jumping on. They’re just doing it because everyone else is doing it.

Everyone else had a fax machine – they bought a fax machine.

Everyone else had a computer – they got a computer.

Everyone else had a website – they got a website.

Everyone else is on Facebook and Twitter – you get it….

But many are missing the key point to all of this? What is missing?

I don’t get it. It’s so blatantly obvious, and yet, it’s constantly being overlooked by millions of businesses!

The sad part is,  they don’t see the most important point.

Pity.  I’m not even going to charge you a dime for sharing the secret….

Ready for it?

Well – here’s the secret, they didn’t just call it media by accident….

They called it……….Drumroll please…..

Social Media!!!

I put the keyword in bold above.

The keyword is SOCIAL.

Of course, with the thousands  of businesses who  are missing that all important point, there are a ton of businesses who actually get it!

(full disclosure: Both the examples below are clients of mine)

I work with a local restaurant who gets it. The restaurant is Jack’s Gastropub in Kingsville, Ontario.

They have gone from having a static website and a static Facebook page to having a dynamic and lively community of engaging fans.

They did it all by transitioning from static to social. There’s nothing super fancy about it. They didn’t spend 30k on a fancy website. Instead, they created something simple yet extremely effective.

Jack’s does video blogs a few times a month. They have nothing to hide. Everything is transparent. If a customer has a bad meal and calls Jack’s on it, the owner will address the concerns in a video format.

When their customers complained that they couldn’t order a menu item any longer, Jack’s was honest about why the product was removed. It wasn’t because they were purposely trying to upset their customers; it was because they could no longer get regular deliveries of the required products.

What happened next is brilliant. They engaged their customers by asking them to take part in an online petition.

The petition was meant to be fun; but instead, it got the attention of the head office, in Dallas, Texas – 1,200 miles away, regarding the products.

Needless to say, the item is now back on the menu.

The customers had a part in seeing a favorite item returned to the menu. It was engaging and exciting.

The stats, the numbers, and the lines of people waiting to get into Jack’s on Friday night don’t lie. Going social was the key.

I work with another local business guru who’s crushing it on the social media level.

Brad Graham is a big deal when it comes to the business of hair.

Just recently, Brad was a main-stage speaker at the prestigious International Beauty Show in New York City. He also opened the show with a killer Hendrix-style guitar performance of the Star Spangled Banner. You can check that out here.

Brad does weekly videos showing his clients how to achieve the same looks at home that they would get in his salon and all for free. He also gives them special tips and tricks of the trade. These are the tricks Brad has spent years mastering.

Every couple of weeks, Brad takes customer’s questions, concerns, emails, and makes a Q&A Video.

Brad’s clients love it. They haven’t stopped coming in or spending less on his products, just because he’s giving away some of his best tips. The total opposite has happened.

Coming to Brad’s salon is even more exciting now. Brad’s a character and his clients love his videos. It’s just another way for clients to interact and have a social connection with Brad and his business.

If you drop Brad a comment on his Facebook page, you don’t get an auto-response or a 10% off coupon. Instead, you get a response from Brad. It’s social.

And to think – they stuck the keyword right into the name and it’s still being missed.

How did you you miss it?