It's 2011, do you know where your social media strategy is?
As a marketer who has been in the social media game for a while now, I understand why companies struggle with social media. There is much misunderstanding between the concept and the tools-and the benefits of either. There is confusion as to why social media tools can't be used just like e-mail, direct mail and advertising. There are also power struggles internally for who should own social media and who has control over what is for public consumption.
What's a Marketer To Do?
That's the question author and social media expert Paul Chaney discusses in his latest book, "The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media." (Paul's first book is "Realty Blogging: Build Your Brand and Out-Smart Your Competition.")
The answer? Start a conversation. However, the smart thing to do before diving into any conversation is to understand the new rules of communication, why they matter, and the five trends turning the business world upside down.
- Consumer Skepticism
- Fragmented Media
- Loss of Control
- Niche Marketing
- Customers are in Control
Trust me. Your customers will thank you for taking the time to understand these tectonic shifts.
I get it, things have changed. Now what?
Great attitude! Now it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Lucky for you, Paul provides seven proven strategies to help you become successful with your social media strategy. Now, I know what you are thinking... Why can't I just share my press release on Twitter and Facebook and call it a day? Well, I suppose you could, but I am not sure how much ROI you'll get from it. And isn't that what management is demanding from social media? (Psst! We all know that asking for ROI is secret code for "We don't get this, so we're going to challenge it." Be smart and prove them wrong!) Ready?
- Business Blogging
- Social Networks
- Niche Online Communities
- PR 2.0
- RSS, Tagging, Bookmarking and more!
All of these strategies mean nothing without a plan of action that includes listening, engaging and measuring. In that order, too.
I love that Paul positions listening as the new marketing. I couldn't agree more! And marketers, I am sorry to say, but you aren't very good at listening...only talking. Now is your chance to understand why listening before engaging will determine whether your social media plan will be successful or not.
You've met customers offline, right? What is the first thing you do? You shake their hand. Now you can do that digitally. We call it engaging. Paul offers tips for how to best engage in online conversation and his "table" metaphor is spot on and so are the tactics he shares for getting a seat at someone else's table or setting a table of your own.
Finally, here's where you get to show your management team just how smart you are. All of those digital handshakes are measureable. Paul shares a whole bunch of tools to help you along the way. Some are free and some are paid, but either way you'll have more than enough to select from.
About Paul Chaney
I would be remiss if I did not share with you that Paul is a friend of mine and when reading his book, I heard his voice in my head. The topics he covers in this book have provided the two of us with hours of conversation and debate over the years whether it's been face-to-face, on the phone or, yes, even digitally. What's that mean for you? Well, my hope is that you will believe Paul is extremely passionate about social media. I hope you will become so as well once you finish The Digital Handshake.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Digital Handshake from Paul Chaney. This review is based on the contents of the book and my belief that marketers (and their management teams!) could really benefit from reading it.
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