What Is Our Fool’s Gold?

Social media posts are nice, but they don’t bring new customers like online reviews.

By Brant Scheifler

Novice miners caught gold fever and hurried west in search of fortune during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s.

Being new to gold mining, many followed the frenzied crowd seeking wealth but lacked the training and experience to find it. It was at this time the phrase “chasing fool’s gold” was born. While fool’s gold looked similar, it was actually iron pyrite.

Discovering the shiny pyrite caused premature celebrations among inexperienced miners as they assumed they had hit the motherlode. But lasting disillusion soon set in. Despite their best intentions, many realized their busy activities produced little actual gold in return.

Only a few of the 250,000 miners left better off. Instead, they lost valuable time, money, and health in their wasted efforts. Instead, most of the estimated $2 billion worth of gold extracted instead went to experienced mining operations that knew what they were doing.

The novice miners eventually learned their lesson, but have we learned from them? New forms of “fool’s gold” circulate every decade, and we’re currently in a “boom” of our own. So, what is the fool’s gold of our time?

Social media.

The New Thing

Social media is new, shiny, and hailed as the most valuable marketing activity your company should get busy mining. Many marketing experts suggest it’s where the motherlode of new customers can be found. So, it’s tempting to hurriedly grab your Twitter “ax” and Instagram “pick” and Facebook “shovel” and begin mining for new customers.

But is it time and money well spent? Back in the Gold Rush, simple tests revealed the difference between real vs. fool’s gold. Yet it was still difficult for some would-be miners to acknowledge they came up short after investing heavily in following the crowd. Why? They had spent a lot in the fantasy of striking it rich and the reality of unrealized gains threatened their dream.

So how does all of this relate to your business today?

You can objectively measure the value of social media postings for a company. (And we have.) Posting an article or holiday greeting on Facebook is a nice gesture. But it’s not necessarily the difference maker in discovering new customers who need a water well system.

Yes, there is absolutely no doubt that water well contracting companies should have a basic presence on social media platforms. However, to expect general postings on social media to result in a ton of “new customer gold” is a fantasy that some folks are still peddling.

Just because you see others doing it doesn’t mean it’s producing value. So, here’s the bottom line: There is some value when social media posting is done right by a skilled operation. But for most companies, it’s just another demand on your time with very little return coming back for your work—just as the miners of old finally realized.

And there is a better place to focus under the umbrella of “social media” where the gold is actually hiding.

The Real Jewel

Here’s how a slight change in social media strategy will cause new customers to come to you and not have you wasting time and effort on general postings like the masses do.

There are two parts. First, serve customers well and establish your presence on social media sites that feature user reviews. Second, deploy a system to “mine out” positive reviews from your customers and share them to your social media sites automatically.

Unlike a generic Facebook post that fades the very same day, online reviews have enduring value. They are today’s powerful version of word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, 76% of consumers now treat online reviews as personal recommendations from friends and family.

But there’s a problem. Only a small percentage of your happy customers will leave good reviews unless you deploy a system to “mine them.” Thankfully, this is easy to do.

Like a large mining operation, we’ve tested the best process to generate reviews over the last five years in places across the country. We reduced it to three simple steps anyone can use to cultivate a pile of good reviews worth their weight in gold. Plus, the time demand on the company is very low!

Here’s a quick summary of the steps:

  • Don’t follow the masses’ approach to social media posting as this simply steals your time and attention and yields few results.
  • Focus on mining customer reviews.
  • Share them automatically.

Doing this will turn the tables and put the social media trend to work for you. Be among the profitable few by mining the real gold of new customers through online reviews. It’s the single most effective piece of marketing you can invest in.

How do you do so? The focus of this article was to discuss the truth about random social media posts. Therefore, I lack space to unpack the process of putting online reviews to work for your company.

However, I created a free resource for water well companies like yours that explains exactly how it works. You can request it by emailing me at brant@automaticoutreach.com. Use it yourself or hand off to a staff member to implement. The results are dramatic.


Brant Scheifler is a well owner in North Carolina, and the founder of Automatic Outreach, a company that has helped small businesses across America grow through local online marketing. Email him today at brant@automaticoutreach.com for the free “3 Simple Steps” review sheet mentioned in this article to help you get more customer reviews. Learn more about Automatic Outreach.