Maybe you’re sick to death of social media. Jackie Wright of Rainmaker Communications told me awhile back over coffee, “We get what it is – we just want to hear case studies now about how to apply it.”
I’ve found there are 3 types of social media books – the high level, extremely theoretical (which has its value), the ones whose covers promise a lot but turn out to be mostly platitudes and not much practical advice, and a 3rd category that covers the topic comprehensively with a theoretical point of view and a detailed roadmap point of view.
Anyone writing a book on social media will have a tough time in their book proposal explaining how their book on strategy could possibly be different from Liana Evans’ new book, “Social Media Marketing,” or how it would advance the knowledge available on the topic. She has really created a thorough piece of work, and it’s also the first book I’ve seen that includes a critical section on the importance of involving your legal team from the very beginning. As I’ve blogged before, the legal dept. can be an unwitting roadblock to your communication efforts unless you partner with them.
I think Li explains best in her introduction what the goal of the book is about: “I’ve written this book to give any marketer, novice, or expert a deeper look into the realm of social media marketing. So much has been touted, preached, and hoisted up on a pedestal as things marketers or companies should be doing, it’s hard to believe what’s true and what isn’t. This book can be your guide from beginning to end in understanding what’s hype and what’s not. For making the case of whether or not you should be actively engaging in social media, to putting the pieces together to plan a successful social media marketing strategy.”
It’s a helpful book in determining whether a particular client of yours should implement social media as part of their marketing strategy, as well as a guide to how you should roll it out. It’s a very strategic book, but it includes the tactical how-to and background information as well.
One of her mantras is knowing your audience and doing research on the demographic, and finding out where your audience is. I’m working with a client now to convince them that the upfront research is critical. Their default opinion is just to use social media and press releases as broadcast tools, without really knowing whether their targeted customers are on a particular social network. I will be using Li’s book as validation of my instincts and as printed reference to build my case (if it’s in print, it must be true – or at least, it carries a lot of clout! tongue-in-cheek).
She spends a good deal of time explaining why it’s a mistake to think you can avoid negative things by staying out of social media. We all know we need to be aware of the conversations so we can address them, and Li explains it very articulately. When you come to the community, too, she says, be prepared to add value. Community members want a conversation about the brands they love, not to listen to the same messages they get in brochures and TV. Social communities are a niche, and people choose to be there. Therefore, your approach must be unique to that community – this is exactly what I tell my clients. Just because a customer knows your history does not mean they know your brand. Lots of good quotable assertions are in this book.
As I write this, I’m looking at “Guerilla Marketing Excellence” on my bookshelf in my office. Written by Jay Conrad Levinson, it was one of THE books about marketing in the 90s. Times have changed. While I’m sure it contains a lot of advice that is still germane, if you want to be relevant today, you and your clients need to understand a practical roadmap to how social media should be integrated with your marketing.
I think I also liked the book also because she was one of the few people who agrees with me about Seth Godin. (see p. 243!). As you probably know, he does not allow comments on his blog, thus she doesn’t feel it’s a true conversation. He is just broadcasting information which too many people seem to scoop up, turn around and offer their own followers. (The last is my take, not her phrasing). I don’t want to slam him (I’m sure he’d be great to have coffee with) and I know he has explained on his site why he doesn’t take comments, but still….the one-way dialogue hits me the wrong way…
The only pushback I have on the author are the occasional references – not very complimentary – to PR agencies. To wit, “On a general level, most marketing firms or PR agencies tend to look at social media sites as marketing tactics instead of parts of an entire social media strategy… they think it’s about pushing out another press release, commercial on YouTube, or free coupon to try your product.” Another — ” If you’re working with classic public relations firms, their idea of social media might be e-mailing your press release to a bunch of bloggers or journalists with the hope that someone will care.” Li, Li, come back to us! Come to Phoenix! We have a pretty good group here of enlightened agencies.
Thanks to Que Publishing’s publicity team for bringing this book to my attention. From time to time I receive pitches from book publicity agents, and I was dubious about this one because it seemed like a broad topic that had already been done to death. I was wrong!Tweet
the rumors are true (@ Neighbor from the 90′s)...
Sorry to see you go. avic-x920bt
First the Space Shuttle program and now this???? OH NO!...
I think it’s really funny that Jason donates money...
Sad to see you go Mr Len… been a great ride
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