There are many people who think that success in leveraging Social Media comes down to understanding analytics, marketing conversion ratios, data mining, aligning planets, smelling colors and all other forms of modern alchemy.

Maybe for some of the people with tape on their glasses it does, but those things have never been important to me or my clients. I own a car, but I have no idea of how the transmission works and I don’t need to know how the transmission works. But I do know how to drive.

Whether online or offline, we can’t outrun our character and we can’t outrun our people skills or lack thereof. If someone IRL (“in real life” as the kids say) gives you a compliment, you’d probably thank them. Unless your social skills suck. And many people’s social skills do as it says in the Good Book “sucketh”.

If someone retweets you, mentions you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc and you don’t acknowledge them and say thanks, your social skills suck. I’m not trying to offend you, I’m just pointing out a BFO. A blinding flash of the obvious.

All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to the people they know, like and trust. Someone please explain to me how being rude builds know, like, trust relationships. Crickets. Buehler….Buehler….

At this point, most people start thinking, “Man, if I acknowledge people, show appreciation and develop simple social skills (etiquette or online it’s called internetiquette), that’s gonna take time.” Perhaps these people should just walk around with a sign hanging around their neck that says “I have no idea that business and life is all about relationships that’s why I’m relying on secret, ninja marketing trickery”.

Say please and thank you. Be polite. And then be a little more polite. Acknowledge people. Be humble. Pay it forward. Courtesy never goes out of style. And man does it pay well.