My Social Mind – Why I Think About Social The Way I Do

I’ve been doing a lot of internal thinking lately. I’ve been diving deeply into why I think the way I do, where my ideas behind social marketing comes from and why I believe the way I believe. There are dozens of different theories on the use of social, and many different ways that work. Of course, I’ve had experience trying many different tactics but I always go back to two things:

  • The creation of interpersonal relationships, and
  • Community based social good.

Why is that though? I can tell you that I grew up poor, moving from place to place, state to state. It was hard making new friends for me because I was very introverted, I know what those of you that know me are thinking, “David? Introverted? No Way!” Yes way, I was and still am to a degree but because of that I spent a lot of time thinking and reading, all in my head. I don’t know when my thoughts started to change but I started to open up, I pushed myself until I was uncomfortable and pushed some more. I started selling magic tricks in the mall, at first demonstrating them to large crowds wasn’t easy but then it got easier as I started talking with people and building relationships with my audience.

From there I sold alarm systems door-to-door, at first it was tough getting past what to say first but as I learned how to build rapport, people started to open up and so did I! Then I started selling cars and found that I had a way of talking with people, I learned that I was able to make others feel comfortable and trust came easy for me. You see, I built my career on relationships, relationships are what opened my eyes and made me who I am. I’ve met a lot of amazing people, people who I consider mentors, people who have been there and I have learned from. People that I would have never met if I stayed introverted. To keep an old cliche alive I’ve turned into a social butterfly when all I used to be was an introverted caterpillar.

What about the social good? I’m a little hesitant to pull my skeletons out of the closet here, because I’m a private person, but it’s important to share my story so you get the gist of why I think the way I do. During my 10th grade year, my family and I, spent the months of November through January in a homeless shelter, yes, we were homeless. During the holidays I remember running from the local news as they brought their video cameras around as a bunch of people brought in clothes and other gifts.

I specifically remember one older couple who came in and took every child to Target to pick out some Christmas gifts, about 20 in all. The boys went one way, the girls went the other. I asked why they were doing this and the man told me that their son had passed away 10 years prior and each year on Christmas they would put a little money away and that now it was time to give back. About half way through the store I remember another man walking up and asking George, the guy who we were with, who all the kids were, he looked back at us, as we followed him, and smiled, “They are my friends.”

That day I promised myself that I would make a difference, that giving and helping others mattered. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t push social good because it’s my agenda, but it is something that I’m passionate about. Remember when I said that there were dozens of difference theories behind social marketing and more than one worked? Well, community based social good is one of them. In fact here are some stats that support “my agenda:”

  • When quality and price are equal, 53% of people say that social purpose ranks as the most important factor in selecting a brand.
  • 72% of people said they would recommend a brand based off of their social purpose.
  • 71% of people said they would promote a brand based off of their social purpose.
  • 73% of people said they would switch brands based off of their social purpose.

So, my idea of being social is about building relationships around things that people are passionate about. Around things that make a difference, and if you spend time supporting the causes that your community is passionate about you will reap the rewards of increased word-of-mouth, referrals and customer loyalty. By the way, I’m not just talking about stroking a check, but really getting involved and using your money and influence to get others involved. Rally a community around supporting a cause that they are passionate about and watch the community become passionate about doing business with you.

Post author

David has been in the auto industry for 11 years, starting off as a salesperson, then internet sales and then finally BDC manager before he started consulting full time. Now he is considered the forefront of automotive social media and is both the VP and partner of

There are 18 Comments

  1. Posted by applechevy Reply

    Thank you David for sharing. I always say, and I do so on our website, “It’s all about people.”

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      Thank you for reading AND commenting. You are right, of course, it’s all about people. It’s all about being human and doing what humans do.

  2. Posted by Bryan Armstrong Reply

    Thank you for sharing. This post proves your one to “put your money were your mouth is”. Thank you for sharing not only a great strategy, but the vision and impetus behind it.

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      It’s one I’ve been meaning to share for a while, thank you for taking the time to read Bryan!

  3. Posted by Nancy Simmons Reply

    Now I know why you are the man you are today David! I am blessed to know you…and you DO make a difference in every life you touch! This explains your “DNA”,(David’s Nice Always) and the generosity you exhume consistently with no expectation for returned favors. Thanks for opening the door to your heart and letting us in… I am so privileged to not only know you, but to be considered your colleague and friend.

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      We can let our pasts hold us back or we can use them to propel us forward. I chose the later, it has shaped me to be the man I am today and has given me a unique outlook on life. Thank you for all of your kindness Nancy!

  4. Posted by craig Reply

    I’m proud to say you’re my friend and you teach me a lot, everytime we talk,a blessing in my life

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      Funny you say that Craig, I see YOU as a mentor and am blessed to know YOU! Thank you for all you do.

  5. Posted by Jane Schuster Reply

    You are a great success story, DJ. I am very, very proud to know you.

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      Thank you Jane and I’m honored to know you!

  6. Posted by Dwayne Shirley Reply

    And this is another reason I work for 3GEngagement. In this lackluster society it is difficult to find people who passionate about something AND work towards fulfilling that passion. Thanks for sharing, David.

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      Hey, we’re real people here at 3GE! And we’re not scared to show it! LOL

  7. Posted by erniekasprowicz Reply

    I admire your ability to have made a pact with yourself and stay true to it. Humble beginnings can at times be the making of a great man. You have always conducted yourself as a true gentleman with a strong sense of purpose. You share wisdom with the words you write and all the rest of us need to do is act upon them. Thanks, David.

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      I’m honored by your words Ernie, thank you for taking the time to both read my post and write me a comment. I always to true to myself in the words I write, this time I tool that a little more literally. Thank you for stopping by!

  8. Posted by Neil Amaral Reply

    You never cease to amaze me, or any of these other folks! Great story Dave. Keep it coming!

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      Thank you Neil, wasn’t sure of what the reaction would be if I put myself out there like that. But as Tracy Myers said, “It’s the only story I have so I might as well tell it.”

  9. Posted by Nick Jay Gilley Reply

    Thanks for sharing those details about your life David. I will enjoy getting to know you better!

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      I appreciate you taking the time to read them Nick. Looking forward to getting to know you better as well!

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