What Fuels Your Passion?

by Jason Falls |

This week I had the honor of spending a couple days with Chris Barger and his team, along with several brand team members at General Motors. I was really taken with the passion and excitement many of the folks there had for what they were doing and want to do with social media marketing. From the refreshing resurgence that has the Buick team chomping at the bit to carry their momentum forward to the I-cannot-wait-to-get-people-in-this-car frenzy of the Chevy Volt team, you could just sense an energy at GM that probably hasn’t been there in a while.

In the midst of witnessing that, someone asked me what fuels my passion for social media. Odd, but I’d never really thought about it much until then. Here’s what I landed on:

Pumping gas
Image by futureatlas.com via Flickr

I grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky. Pikeville has about 6,050 people in the city limits and probably about 65,000 or so in the county. It’s at least a two-hour drive from any city that would really qualify as a city (i.e., one with a commercial airport). In Pikeville, Ky., when I was growing up, we didn’t keep our money in a bank. We didn’t buy insurance from AllState or Nationwide. We didn’t buy cars from Ford or Dodge or even Chevy. We didn’t buy clothes from J.C. Penney or Sears or even Kentucky-based Dawahares department stores.

In my small town, we kept our money with David and Danny. We bought our insurance from Shirley. We bought cars from Terry. And when we needed new clothes, we went to see Jerry.

In a small town, you do business with people you know and trust. Social media brings that nugget of down home goodness to a global scale. No, you won’t actually purchase a Chevy Volt from Chris Barger himself. But the fact that you can reach out to him on Twitter and get a response makes that purchase a more trusted one.

There are a lot of disadvantages to living in a rural community, tucked away from the world. But there’s a whole lot of value there, too. I’m just hoping to share that one with everyone else.

What fuels your passion?

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).