This is one of my favorite books on social media marketing because it focuses on more than just conceptual ideas. It gives you real examples and practical advice for how to build your brand online. It also covers both marketing and PR, and can be some food for thought if you are new to web marketing. The book came out in 2007, so in some ways it is already a little out of date, but still definitely worth a read. (David Meerman Scott has a new book out – World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories
which I haven’t read yet).
Overall: Great book, strong examples and really useful concepts.
Read this if: You want to build your brand online. Even if you know how to use social media and social sites – this is a great resource for actual marketing and brand building.
Categories: Marketing, Social Media, PR
Key Take Aways:
- Build a Strong Web Presence – More than ever people are searching and research information about purchases online. At the same time many web sites are full of ads instead of clearly providing the information that people are looking for. Make your website usable and fill it with great content.
- Social Media and PR are Linked – Reporters increasingly search for topics and companies to discuss online vs. waiting for your press release. Make your site searchable and have a great press page. That being said, traditional press might not be the best way to reach your audience. Consider niche blogs and try to build relationships. Lots of reporters get their ideas from these sites already. This allows you to have a pull PR strategy (reporters contact you because you are the expert) vs. a Push strategy (you send reporters your press release and they usually ignore it).
- Build PR for the Consumer Market – Rather than going after a few big publications (which are really hard to get anyways) write press releases that are consumer friendly. Remove the jargon and formality and make them easy to understand so that bloggers get excited and will write about you.
- Content is King – Content is the key to your social media strategy. Great Content = you are a trusted resource = call to action. View social marketing as creating a relationship vs. a one night stand. Don’t think of social marketing as a transaction.
- Deliver Content When & Where it is Needed – This serves to brand your organization as a thought leader. The content that you syndicate online (through blogs, podcasts, twitter, etc) should be inherently valuable to your target audience. To do this you need to know: Where is your audience? How do you reach them? What are their motivations? What problems can I help them solve? What content will compel them to trust me and buy from me? Know your goal and let your content drive the action.
- Using Blogs, Podcasts, Chat Rooms, Message Boards, Wikis and Listserves – When getting started, first monitor and listen, then participate and get known, and then create your own content. You need to understand the community and audience before you participate. Keys to success: React quickly, provide useful content regularly, be open and honest, show your personality, apologize when you need to. Build an editorial calendar to keep your content fresh and on topic.
- Integrate your Social Media Around a Hub (your website) – Your website should be the hub of your social media activity, and all of your assets (on your site and in social media) should support telling a consistent story about your company or brand. Pay attention to how your content is organized and how it will ultimately drive action. Talk like “one of them”.
- Develop Thought Leadership – Position yourself of your organization as thought leaders. Don’t talk about your company but showcase your expertise by talking about the category, industry or trends. Be a unique resource for people. You can also achieve this with ebooks, newsletters, webinars, wikis, research reports, whitepapers, podcasts and videos.
- Tips for getting started in social networks: 1) Target a specific audience 2) Be a thought leader 3) be authentic and transparent 4) Creates links 5) Encourage contact 6) Participate 7) Be easy to find 8 ) Experiment
Has anyone else read this great book on social media marketing and PR? What did you think? Are there other books you would recommend?
Note: The links in this post are amazon affiliate links.