Author: Liana Evans
Publisher: Que, 2010
Aimed at: Companies with products to market
Pros: Easy-to-read, straightforward messages
Cons: Tends to be repetitive
Reviewed by: Sue Gee
The one sure way to make achieve financial success with social media marketing is to write a book about it but of the many I have encountered this is the most convincing.
The title of the very first chapter is "It's Not Easy, Quick or Cheap" and having dismissed this preconception Liana Evans is able to devote the rest of the book to explaining the types of effort that have to go into social media marketing.
The book takes a very straightforward approach and you should start with the introduction that sets out the four themes that recur throughout the book:
- Research your audience and customers
- Have a well-planned strategy with defined goals
- Everyone in company needs to be involved in some way
- Your social media strategy needs to be measured but success/failure is different for everyone
There are five parts to the book, the first of which is on the Basics of Social Media.This is relatively short and doesn't spend too long on going over ground that is likely to be familiar. It does characterise the different types of social media, pointing out that each has a different measure of success and you can quickly appreciate where it is going from the chapter titles - including "It's ROC (Return on Conversation) not ROI (Return on Investment)" and "Know Who Your Audience is and What They are Doing"
Part II, It's About Conversation, develops a message we've already met - you have to participate without the expectation of a conventional reward. Part III, Social Media emphasises that you need to involve the whole company - with just a few exceptions see Chapter 21, "Interns Make Coffee, Not Social Media Strategies". Other chapters tell us "Branding and Messaging Need to Be Consistent" and "Trust and Readership Must Be Earned".
In a similar manner reading chapter titles gives you the gist of Part IV, It's Not About You. Among the advice is:
Think of social media marketing as a game of rugby, without the striped shirt and sweaty jocks.
In social media, you must discover what the end user finds most valuable.
The final part, How Social Media Fits into the Online Marketing Picture, is the most practical. Its chapters include Complementing Both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing and Links and Search Engine Results are Byproducts of Social Media. There's also a chapter on Choosing a Social Media Consultant - and of course the author herself is one of these!
At the end of the book there are no magic answers but if you've been reading attentively you are no longer expect any.