How famous film quotes highlight some social media myths


If you build it they will come
The use of social media in the last 12 – 18 months has become a widespread tool in the business toolbox (although frustratingly scant in recruiting circles), and has fostered many tru-isms and much BS. When @billboorman asked me to lead a track on Social Recruiting at his recent TRULondon Unconference I decided to address these some of these………………. but in a different way!

I have used famous film quotes to get demonstrate some of the social recruiting/social media myths that we all hear said e-v-e-r-y day. So here are my top 12 social media myths with the aid of a few famous film stars.

  1. “If you build it they will come”. (Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams)
    This for me is one of the biggest myths of social media. It’s funny because go back a year and many people thought that this was a great mantra for social media. But 12 months on things have changed. Just because you build a Facebook page, create blog or have a Twitter account or YouTube channel, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people will visit them! Unless there is a reason to go to one of your sites by you providing something they want – quality and appealing content, again and again, then your social media site will have tumbleweed blowing through it for months to come!
  2. “You had me at hello” (Renee Zellweger, Jerry Maguire)
    You got me. You hooked me in. I liked the way you said hello. Then you disappointed me. You didn’t deliver on the promise you showed at the outset. The content dried up, and it looks like you lost interest in keeping the content flowing regularly. Ring any bells any of you “two post bloggers”? 
  3. “Show me the money” (Tom Cruise , Jerry Maguire)
    For me, money is a metaphor for success. There is SO much hype around the stats of social media – how many fans, followers, subscribers connections you have, that the reality has become embroiled in the same hype. Forget the hype of the big numbers and focus on the quality. So lesser numbers, but ones that will engage and talk to you. Surely it is better to have 200 fans/followers/connections/subscribers that you actively engage with, than to have 3000 you don’t, isn’t it? The success comes from those relationships, not the mass numbers.
  4. (Mrs Robinson) You are trying to seduce me” (Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate)
    This is exactly what you should be doing to everyone in social media land! You want them to come to your Facebook page, Twitter page, LinkedIn profile, blog or YouTube channel etc – why have them if you don’t. You should be seducing them with a real reason to come to your site – quality content and engagement. Go on………… try a little seduction today 🙂
  5. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” (Clark Gable, Gone With The End)
    Simply put, have the belief in yourself, your brand, your product or your service. Say what you think (of course I don’t mean be vulgar and abusive), and show your character and your voice. Of course listen to opinion, but don’t compromise yourself. Grow a pair!
  6. “Fasten your seat belts, you’re in for a bumpy ride” (Bette Davis, All about Eve)
    Social media if full of ups – but it can also have a whole load of bumps along the way. You will enjoy the adulation of great posts, good videos and loads of comments; but you will also have the flip side of (seemingly) bad comments, bad press and negative feedback. Please don’t expect anything different. Things are not always rosie in social media land, but dealt with in the right way, negativity can be turned around into positivity and good will.
  7. “I’ll have what SHE’S having” (THAT scene in When Harry Met Sally)
    Remember that scene with Meg Ryan? After all, who could forget it? Well think of the time when you have seen others get loads of attention (on whatever social channel it was), and thinking you would like the same? That doesn’t happen by accident. The person (or brand) will have worked hard to build up their brand, profile or network and will likely have failed many times before they start to see success. Of course you want what they have – but you have to make sure you put the work in first!
  8. “It’s not personal (Sonny), it’s strictly business” (Marlon Brando, The Godfather)
    People make the mistake of thinking that everything connected to social media is about them…. and it’s personal. Take note – it isn’t! Stop taking it all so personally. Just because some unfriends you or removes you from a Twitter list or unfollows you, it isn’t about you. It is more likely the content you provide isn’t right for them. It is transactional not personal. As more people associate social media with business, this will happen more and more.
  9. “What we have here is a failure to communicate” (Cool Hand Luke)
    One of my favourites. Social media is all about communication and engagement. If you are not communicating and engaging then you really are not understanding social media at all!
  10. “You talkin to me? Well I am the only one here!” (Robert DeNiro, Taxi Driver)
    When you start getting involved in social media it can be pretty tough. You feel like you have no one to talk to or engage with. You will definitely wonder what the fuss is all about, and will certainly think about jacking it in. DON’T. Listen, watch and learn from others. See how they are doing it and learn. Don’t be afraid of reaching out for help and advice from others. And more importantly don’t be afraid of simply trying. After all what’s the worst that can happen?
  11. “We all go a little mad sometimes” (Anthony Perkins in Psycho)
    Just picking up from the last point. Nothing wrong with some fun and madness in the social media world! A rant here and there, or a some humour or fun doesn’t do you any harm at all. Obviously as long as it isn’t malicious in any way, and you don’t do it every other communication, then it is acceptable to do. It actually shows a human side (in a strange way) to you. I do it every so often, but I am careful to make sure it is topic based or generic, and I back it up with a reasoned argument.
  12. “I’ll be back” (Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator)
    We all know this phrase so well, don’t we? Well for social media it should read – I’ll be back….. again and again and again! Consistency in getting started in social media is key. Make sure you regularly post blogs, updates, info etc every day, week and month.
    You want to be sitting there saying, I’ll be back – to write some more; and you want your readers to say I’ll be back for more of your excellent content.

What is your favourite here? Mine is no.9.

Are there any that I have missed –  if there are other film quotes that you can tie into social media, then please add them below.


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We consult, train, tweet, blog, text, post, speak, share, read, update, photograph, video and talk about recruitment. At Sirona Consulting we work with companies, recruitment agencies, RPO’s HR & recruitment technology vendors and conference / event organisers, helping them understand and integrate social media into their recruitment strategies. We have have been doing this now for twelve years, working with many companies along the way, from small independent recruiters right through to large international companies. We are honest, ethical and have experience of working across a range of different industry sectors delivering success in the UK, Europe, Middle East, APAC and the United States.


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