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#Social_Media : He Used Social Media To Out Think The Symptoms Of Parkinson's

In the arena of social media for business, few are better versed than Dr. Gary Sharpe, 
UK-based digital marketing expert and author of the Digital Sherpa books on Amazon that include “The Truth About Social Media Marketing: What Every Business Needs to Know.” I own this book and began this post as a chance to share some of his thoughts on social media for business such as the following:


Remember, social media is “rented space.” As social media becomes more prevalent, marketers have invested less time in their websites and more time in being visible on the “right” social media platforms to find prospective customers, to get and remain “top of mind.” But too many marketers are forgetting these platforms are, in effect, “rented space.” We don’t own it the platforms, nor the community members. We become “follower focused” instead of “customer focused.” Going down this path is a mistake.
Too many marketers are “selling by yelling.” This is a phrase coined by Sharpe collaborator Angus Grady, but is extremely apt as a description for the myriad of companies and executives attempting to lift their value add and ideas above the burgeoning crowd.
Beware the snake oil marketers. Too many service providers are emerging that promise miraculous upturns in business by “doing” a handful of Tweets and LinkedIn updates for the company. They claim to be raising awareness. In fact, however, businesses must go out and win their customers just like anyone else.


We must continually do a reality check. While social media is replete with big numbers, it is vital to take a frequent reality check on what these data points really mean. For example, on your personal or business Twitter account, click on the option that says “analytics.” I just did it myself – 16.9K followers that in the last 28 days have produced 406,000 impressions, 1,627 profile visits and 295 mentions. Sounds impressive, yes? Well, how many new accounts have I garnered from Twitter? As I think about it, surely the answer is higher than “zero,” but would it qualify as a business development home run? No. As Sharpe has challenged me and others, “views are not sales, followers are not customers, comments are not orders, engagements are not earnings, virality is not profitability.” And of course he is right.

But I’m moving to another topic instead. Today I’m sharing the story of Gary Sharpe and the series of events that despite all of his digital marketing caveats have put him on a track to engage social media with his entire being, not only as a business outcome, but to address the cause of his life. About six months ago I learned that he is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Diagnosed at age 35, he lived his next 7 years with progressive symptoms of the disease that turned him both figuratively and literally into a “frozen man.” Understandably, perhaps, the rigors of his situation had left him cynical and angry.
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