Social Media Success Found in Paying it Forward

Have you ever thought about how just one life can impact others in the world? Sure, we’ve all heard people claim that they are only one person and therefore cannot make a difference.

Pay It Forward Movie

I’m here to tell you that if you want measure social media success, you need to first understand the theory of “pay it forward” and how greatly one person (or company) can impact the lives of others – both offline and online.

Just recently, I was in a grocery store picking up two hamburger buns for that night’s dinner. Even though there were many other lines open, I was drawn to the line that had a woman, her 3 very small children and a lot of food in the cart.

After she was all done getting rung up, she swiped her credit card and it was declined. As it turned out the credit card was expired and, after much rummaging through her wallet and pant pockets, she turned to the clerk and said, “That’s all I have”.

It was those three words that got my attention. I looked at her three small children (from infant to 4 years old) and thought about the horrible windstorm were having at that moment. This woman would have to leave her groceries, pack up her kids to get home, pick up another form of payment and truck the kids back to the store. It made absolutely no sense.

I placed my hand softly on her shoulder, smiled, and said, “I’ll get this”.

Immediately her eyes started and, while saying “thank you” a hundred times, she came to me and gave me one of the most authentic loving hugs I have ever felt.

Of course, she wanted my address and I refused with just three and added three more words to our simple conversation: “Pay it forward”. And with those words, she agreed with a huge smile on her face and left the grocery store with a light step as she began talking to her eldest son about what just happened.

So, what does offline grocery store experience have to do with online social media networking?


The expression “pay it forward” is used to describe the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others instead.

You see – social media is about building authentic relationships and impacting others in a way that enriches their lives.

Whether your are a company or an individual, measuring social media success is about truly listening to other people and helping them to get what they need in their lives – without asking for anything in return all the time.

It is about taking the time to get to know other people and respecting them as human beings.

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It’s so easy to get caught up in the number of fans or followers on social media networks – to demand that people listen to your sales pitch, read your company spam or always pay to have you help them.

But when you do this, you lose the social part of the relationship.

People want to be respected and acknowledged – both in their professional and personal parts of their lives.

When you take out the “social” part of social media, all you get is the media.

Build connections.

That’s where the success in social media networking can be found.

Give of yourself to build relationships that will bring back to you tenfold in both your personal and professional live.

Pay it forward to find success both offline and online!


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