Ask 10 different people what “social media” is and you’ll get 10 different answers. It’s like describing “red” or “blue” to someone. You understand what it is, but no one has a concrete definition.

Wikipedia says, “social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks”

…what?

Merriam-Webster says, “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)”

…I have thoughts about this (such as confusion).

Oxford says, “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.”

…getting warmer.

Ultimately, “social media” boils down to 3 actions:

  1. Creating content
  2. Sharing content
  3. Interacting with the content people share

Platforms that let you do those three things are social media platforms. And if you know how to use them effectively, they can have a huge impact on your business.

Below are 66 social media quotes from a diverse group of experts.

  • Business leaders
  • Authors
  • Athletes
  • CEOs
  • Strategists
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Influencers

Their words help us better understand what social media is and how we can use it to fuel business growth, brand awareness, and clear communication.

66 social media quotes to guide your marketing strategy

1. “You don’t need a corporation or a marketing company to brand you now: you can do it yourself. You can establish who you are with a social media following.” – Ray Allen

2. “Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.” – Amy Jo Martin

3. “Social media is reducing social barriers. It connects people on the strength of human values, not identities.” – Nerendra Modi

4. “Social media isn’t a one-way broadcast; it’s a multiway opportunity for dialogue.” – Clara Shih

5. “The best advice for anyone trying to grow on social media is to be real and to be consistent. People will connect more with you if you stay true to yourself and who you are.” – Lele Pons

6. “Technology and social media have brought power back to the people.” – Mark McKinnon

7. “The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people.” – Jon Ronson

8. “Social media allowed us to become our own storytellers. With it, we seized the power of our truth.” – DeRay Mckesson

9. “Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.” – Brene Brown

10. “A lot of people use social media to share mundane things or for self-glorification. I try to use it to share interesting things with people.” – Asthon Kutcher

11. “A large social-media presence is important because it’s one of the last ways to conduct cost-effective marketing. Everything else involves buying eyeballs and ears. Social media enables a small business to earn eyeballs and ears.” – Guy Kawasaki

12. “I think writers have to be proactive: they’ve got to use new technology and social media. Yes, it’s hard to get noticed by traditional publishers, but there’s a great deal of opportunity out there if you’ve got the right story.” – Ian Ranki

13. “Social media requires that business leaders start thinking like small-tow n shop owners. This means taking the long view and avoiding short-term benchmarks to gauge progress. It means allowing the personality, heart and soul of the people who run all levels of the business to show.” – Gary Vaynerchuk


14. “Social media buzz can lead to huge successes when people spread the word about something they love and want to share. But authors creating their own buzz? Making their own noise? It’s hard to make a lot of noise on our own about our own work. Except, sadly, negative noise.” – M. J. Rose

15. “Being effective at social media, whether for business or personal use, means capturing people who have short attention spans. They’re only a click away from a picture of a funny cat, so you have to make your thing more compelling than that cat. And that can be a high bar.” – Alexis Ohanian

16. “There are a lot of pros and cons about social media; it’s just how you choose to handle it and how you have to be prepared for the negatives as well.” – Aubrey Peeples

17. “Think of social media as the Internet. I can’t think of anyone betting against the Internet in 2012.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

18. “Social media has definitely revolutionized or transformed the world of pageantry, and not just pageantry, but any social cause that we like to lend our voice to, how we inform each other, how we connect.” – Catriona Gray

19. “If someone hurts me on social media, I want to tell them that they’ve hurt me. I believe you should say what you’re feeling. We should all do that, but what I’ve also realized is that even a negative comment is from a person who is trying to reach out. When I reply, maybe I’m reminding them that there’s a deeper meaning to what they’re doing.” – Ginger Zee

20. “Whenever journalism students ask me what they should be doing, I say that if you’re on social media, you should be following a ton of people that you don’t necessarily agree with just to get their perspectives.” – Jake Tapper

21. “Good social media is authentic. What makes social media work is actually having something to say.” – Steven Levitt

22. “Just about any growth company is going to need smart salespeople, account and project managers, business development, marketing, operations, customer service, content creation, communications, analytics, and social media.” – Andrew Yang

23. “You cannot underestimate people’s ability to spot a soulless, bureaucratic tactic a million miles away. It’s a big reason why so many companies that have dipped a toe in social media waters have failed miserably.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

24. “It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television.” – Amy Jo Martin

25. “Thanks to social media, we’ve also been able to show ourselves as we are. In the end, masks are useless. You have to be real.” – J Balvin

26. “Social media presents an opportunity for business people to connect and know each other prior to a phone call or email taking place.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

27. “Like all technology, social media is neutral but is best put to work in the service of building a better world.” – Simon Mainwaring

28. “Social media is a great way to get discovered in the industry because it’s free, it’s worldwide, and everyone’s on it – a very powerful combination.” – Winnie Harlow

29. “Social media replaces nothing – but complements everything.” – Neal Schaffer

30. “While social media skills were once a ‘nice-to-have,’ accreditation in the space is becoming a requirement for many of these job titles. Hiring managers and job seekers are realizing that printing stacks of resumes is turning passe, and social media is rising as the new way of generating real-time networking opportunities.” – Ryan Holmes

31. “Technology has allowed me to reach my fans directly. Social media: it has been a complete revolution of how to interact, promote and share things.” – Tony Hawk

32. “My kids are really good with social media; that’s really an important dynamic in our relationship with our audience, and it’s a great way to connect.” – Kris Jenner

33. “I’ve always said that I feel lucky to live in the era of social media and be a working model in this time. Back in the day, models were just another face. But social media has given people a voice and not just another face. Not only can you show the world your personality and stuff like that, but you can be a brand ambassador easily.” – Gigi Hadid

34. “You’ve got to be very cognizant of the correlation between social media links and business because they don’t always correlate as highly as people would like.” – Mark Cuban

35. “The future is in photos for social media. More and more people are not reading, so I try to attach a photo to most Tweets.” – Tyra Banks

36. “Social media allows big companies to act small again” – Jay Baer

37. “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” – Jeff Bezos

38. “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook

39. “Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart

40. “Social media will help you build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.” – Bonnie Sainsbury

41. “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman

42. “Content-based marketing gets repeated in social media and increases word-of-mouth mentions; it’s the best way to gather buzz about a product.” – Marsha Collier

43. “Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t about giving customers talking points as if they were brand spokespeople. It’s about delivering an exceptional customer experience that makes customers want to recommend you.” – Deborah Eastman

44. “Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” – Lori Ruff

45. “Good content always has an objective; it’s created with intent. It, therefore, carries triggers to action.” – Ann Handley

46. “It’s important to think of every customer as an online celebrity with followers, friends, & above all, influence.” – Dave Kerpen

47. “People relate to other people, not sales pitches and marketing jargon.” – Janet Fouts

48. “Random social media tactics lead to random results. You need a strategy.” – Stephanie Sammons

49. “Social media has shaken up the world of sales, with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offering new ways to hound leads and unprecedented insights into clients.” – Ryan Holmes

50. “The overarching problem is that everyone sees and uses social media from a different perspective.” – Neal Schaffer

51. “Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources.” – Sean Gardner

52. “In Social Media the “squeaky wheel” gets the oil. You have to put yourself out there, to find people who will relate or even debate with you, depending on what you are looking for.” – Jessica Northey

53. “These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.” – Aaron Lee

54. “Going viral is not an outcome; it’s a happening. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember, fans are vanity and sales are sanity.” – Lori Taylor

55. “The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words ‘engage,’ ‘honestly’ or ‘marketplace.’” – Jeffrey Zeldman

56. “Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.” – Brian Solis

57. “Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing.” – Chris Brogan

58. “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” – David Beebe

59. “Social Media gives us the opportunity to humanize our communications and make our companies more approachable.” – Ardath Albee

60. “Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” – Jay Baer

61. “When you say it, it’s marketing. When they say it, it’s social proof.” – Andy Crestodina

62. “Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” – Seth Godin

63. “Monitor, engage, and be transparent; these have always been the keys to success in the digital space.” – Dallas Lawrence

64. “Why are we trying to measure social media like a traditional channel anyway? Social media touches every facet of business and is more an extension of good business ethics.” – Erik Qualman

65. “All one needs is a computer, a network connection, and a bright spark of initiative and creativity to join the economy.” – Don Tapscott

66. “Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers.” – Bryan Weiner