Chinese Fortune Cookies, Social Media and Tech B2B Marketing

December 27th, 2013 by Erica

fortune-cookieLove them or hate them, the delivery of fortune cookies at the end of your Chinese food meal creates excitement about what’s inside.

You may not ever eat the cookie, but the fortune may earn a spot on your fridge or pinned to a bulletin board with the date scribbled in the corner.

Will your fortune allude to a possible new love interest?
Is a promotion on the horizon?
Will it finally convince you to book that tropical vacation you’ve been daydreaming about?
Or maybe it holds the winning lottery numbers on the flip side?

There is a tradition of reading them out loud and hearing others – does it fit them? Who got the best one? And who read theirs with a funny phrase at the end, causing the party to erupt in laughter?

I bet we can all agree the shared experience and commentary is the best part.

Whether you eat the cookie or not, the fortune inside, if it speaks to your life, gives you a sense of jubilation that your “fortune” was true.

You’re probably wondering why I’m going on and on about fortune cookies. For the record, I do like to eat them and read them out loud.

I see a lot of parallels between the fortune cookie “tradition” and social media for tech B2B companies.

Those who share—using social media, or any medium for that matter—to enrich the experiences of others, will progress in their goals of success and influence. A Forbes article included a few of these things in its “25 Things Influential People Do” list.

The stories and messages that humanize a person or company brand, and allow us to relate – giving us a shared experience – will be the “fortunes” that are pinned to walls and revisited for years to come.


Some of us love social media and eagerly consume, and contribute to it, all day long.
There can be anticipation of what lies within our news feed.

Or maybe that’s just me – I could be more than slightly addicted to staying connected with my network.

Is there happy news about a friend who got engaged?
Perhaps a funny annotated image of a cat pestering a dog?
Or devastating news about a tragedy unfolding in another part of the world?

And what will each you and I contribute to the conversation that day?

Just like in the physical world, the most impactful moments are those in which we are engaged and relate to others, not just passively observing and moving along to the next thing.

Can you imagine someone refusing to read his or her fortune at the table? That certainly would dampen the mood and experience.

The same is true for social media within tech B2B. The more involved a company or organization can be in social media – truly engaging, relating and sharing with others, the richer the experience and brand perception rewards will be.

Sure, there are times the fortune is totally off or just plain dumb. And that holds true for social media as well. Despite days when my feed is littered with posts, stories and videos I couldn’t care less about, I still like to be involved and participate. Perhaps a “like” here and there on those days.

So, how are you sharing your stories, and engaging with others’ stories on social media? Which platform(s) do you prefer – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram?

And don’t forget: next time you get Chinese food, be sure to share your fortunes out loud with your fellow diners. And if yours doesn’t fit, maybe you can give it to your friend.

Fortune Cookie designed by Ben Hantoot from the Noun Project

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