Social Media is the most powerful tool ever invented. It can change the world with a tweet, make you a cocktail and very soon Social Media will ensure we live forever.

Ahem, no.

By now, I’ve implemented dozens of social media initiatives, have seen thousands of other social media programs and read hunders of case studies. A pattern emerges very quickly: People have two reasons to engage with a brand through Social Media:

  • Complaints
  • Carrots

Unless people are really unhappy with your brand, they will be extremely passive unless you offer them a carrot. And I mean a big carrot. The one that feeds Bugs Bunny for a few months. I doesn’t have to be a prize, it can be some amazing app they want to share, some entertaining incentive for people to transform from passive consumer to active user.

Sure, people love to share, engage and participate. With their friends. Their social graph. Brands need the carrot to evoke the same reaction. Any Social Media plan without that carrot is just Nonsense, desert town, population 0.