Is social media like marriage?

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While browsing Youtube videos, I stumbled across a video by @Garyvee which caught my attention. Before I share the video with you, here are some of the key points which I found out from the video.

In the video, Gary talked about how businesses today handle social media and one of the things Gary noticed was that businesses are like brides, they spend more time and effort planning the wedding than they do once they are married. He also mentioned that businesses today don’t think lifetime value can be achieved from social media.

Here is the video:


I love the analogy that Gary drew. It got me thinking, social media is not merely about business, it is about establishing a lifetime relationship or creating a lifetime value with your customers.

Social media is indeed like a marriage between brands and customers 

And this is why:

1. Commitment in Social Media

Similar to a wedding, social media requires a commitment to your customers. It is about creating brand loyalty with your customers and one of the ways to create brand loyalty is to get your hands dirty and really work on it to maintain that relationships.

2. Listening in Social Media

One way to create brand loyalty or to commit yourself to your customers is to start listening. I remember watching a video at iStrategy by Microsoft, which was a parody about advertisers and consumers. It shows how advertisers don’t listen to consumers. In the video, the woman left the men because he didn’t listen, similar to what we’re discussing here today. Start listening! Bear in mind that social media is like a marriage. It is a two-way communication, stop talking to yourself, and listen to your spouse! In this case, listen to your customers and not out of tune.


RespondWhat is the point of listening if you don’t respond? Imagine a husband or wife listens to their life partner all the time but they don’t respond. Of course the partner will be cross. They would keep repeating till the other responds. Respond to both negative and positive comments. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry” to something bad or say “thank you” when it’s necessary.

Surprise and delightRecently, Dave Kerpen from LikeableMedia talked about surprise and delight on Watch Me Wednesday on Youtube.

I agree with Dave that surprise and delight are always an important principle in business, like in a marriage. We all love surprises and I love to surprise my girlfriend who I have been together with for more than four years. I want to share something personal here, although it has nothing to do with social media, it is relatively related in a way.

A few days ago, I flew to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore to surprise my girlfriend. To my surprise, she posted it on her Facebook wall and received more than 10 comments and had 33 likes. In the same way, what if you surprise your customers and go all the way for them? A small surprise would suffice. Do note that some of the people you surprise on social media might have thousands of friends who are connected with them.

3. Social Media is Long term 

At the end of the day, getting married to your lifetime partner is a long term commitment. Similar to social media, it is about creating a long term value with your customers. Don’t forget, whenever you help them on social media, it’s going to come back in good way for you. Whenever you delete their comment or ignore them, they will come back and bite you. Think long term! After all the customers will come back to you if they like you!

What do you think?


  • ManInBlackNY

    As usual, great post Aaron! Social media is definitely a two way street. Listening to, and engaging others is key if you want to be successful in it. Social media isn’t going away! Thanks for sharing this video, it is a good analogy!

  • AskAaronLee

    @ManInBlackNY Thanks mate! glad you like the article. BTW, have you gotten the book yet? Should arrive today

  • ManInBlackNY

    I think it came in today, I believe it’s waiting for me when I get home from work. Thanks again for sending buddy! I appreciate it!

  • AskAaronLee

    @ManInBlackNY Woot! my pleasure! again congrats on winning the book!!!

  • paulcastain

    This blog post was a bit of a “tap on the shoulder” for me Aaron but in a different way.

    I’ve always said something similar “social media is a courtship” and up until today I would have protected that philosophy with my life.

    The problem with that philosophy is that it implies that the effort and the trying etc is over once the “marriage” begins.

    So today, I’ve modified my philosophy (thanks to your post) to social media being a “CONTINUAL courtship”

    As someone who has been married for 23 wonderful years (dated 5 years before that) I can tell you that successful relationships are the ones that remain in “continual courtship” status.

    Our efforts with social media deserve no less.

    Thank you so much.


    Paul Castain

    Vice President Jedi Mastery

    Castain Training Systems

  • Denysech

    Great post as always @AskAaronLee. I have used the “Bring back Love” video in my talks; it gets a lot of laughs but ends up being a real “ah ha” moment for attendees who then discuss how many of the mistakes shown they themselves are doing in their own communications.

    Thanks to Social Media organisations have finally realised that communications is a dialogue, a two-way conversation, based on what each party wants to hear, not what they want to tell each other.

    Power to the People!

  • courtneybosch

    Fabulous post and so very true. I am a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding (she is getting married in a few weeks), so this post was even more relevant as I thought about her planning and preparations leading up to the big day! I wonder if that same level of effort will be maintained throughout her marriage. Social media is intended to be a dialogue, not a monologue. Love the videos and analogy. Thanks for this!

  • Justicewordlaw

    The points that you made within this are really valid. Social media is a long term commitment that takes a lot of work and creativity to really see the benefit of it. Just showing up and creating high flashy designs won’t do the work any longer. The fanpage of Nike as wannabmarketing pointed out to me last night is very engaging and great how they really dive into their community and hold long and good discussions.

  • AskAaronLee

    @Justicewordlaw Thanks for the recommendation, will check outwannabmarketing . Indeed just showing up won’t matter anymore, i am waiting to see what will happen in 2012. lol

  • AskAaronLee

    @courtneybosch My pleasure, do congrats your friend for me Courtney. Indeed social media is intended to be a dialogue, most brands still look at it as a monologue and i think 2012 will be the year they find out the importance of a dialogue.

  • AskAaronLee

    @Denysech Amen to the power of people. The video is funny and so true at the same time. Guess most brands wil have a tough time if they don’t decide to choose to listen and respond in the future.

  • Justicewordlaw

    @AskAaronLee I am thinking next year a lot of companies will lose a lot of potential customers with their lack of effort within social media and will just need to re0invent themselves all over again.

  • AskAaronLee

    @paulcastain Congrats on your wonderful marriage Paul, certainly an inspiration to all of us. For sure we can certainly look at it as a continual courtship, it does make sense. Makes me wonder which brands live up to this quote? :)

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  • Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    This analogy leads you into synchronizing with one of my favorite mindsets when it comes to business which is “Marketing is never-ending education as to why people should do business with you over any other option they have, including doing nothing.”

    The same could be said for your personal relationships.You stop showing your significant other the reason why they should give you pure devotion, and you start getting drama.

    Same happens with your fans on any front.Thank you Aaron for reminding me of this incredibly important universal truth.

  • ExcelAssist

    You hit the nail on the head, @AskAaronLee ! These videos are profound! You just helped solidify my desire for engaging more even more ‘two-way’ with my customers and to build longer-lasting and more significant connections. This vision goes far beyond just seeking profit and propagating a brand. Kudos on this one!

  • RSA Course

    I couldn’t agree more that social media is about having a lifetime experience with your consumers and this is where real product innovation comes from.

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  • Larissa

    Social media has become our number one way to obligate to our clients! for good and for bad….

  • tweetclean

    I like that you point out that Social Media is a long-term commitment. I believe it is critical that you develop an intense love affair with your work before you marry it. Great share Aaron.

  • evelynonline80

    This is still relevant. I like the point about how we don’t even hang out in the same places anymore … clearly a nod to social media. But, seriously, this is so interesting in that advertising is evolving and consumers understand they have options and don’t want to be told what to like.

  • Bethany Brightmore

    Great blog! It’s important to remember that your relationships with your consumers is exactly the same as any relationship – they require work, understanding and commitment!

    Many companies shy away from using social media as an interactive social online presence because they are scared of being openly criticized.

    We wrote a blog about how to respond to social media criticism, which would follow on perfectly from this!

  • Denysech

    @Bethany Brightmore Hi Bethany. Thought you would be interested in this bit of synchonicity; @AskAaronLee Aaron just wrote a guest blog on #C3Centricity Dimensions today on the same topic! Read it here:

  • Bethany Brightmore

    @Denysech@AskAaronLee That’s great thank you! I think it’s really important to put an emphasis on the importance of feedback, especially to negative responses. A quick solution to the problem can really work in your favour, especially when it appears on social media.

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