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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Last week I attended an Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce event called “Sociable!” … I knew it was an event where they would be discussing the impact of Social Media on the Sales and Marketing side of your business …

Up to that point, I must admit, I had always viewed social media as being mainly the realm of teenagers and people who just had a lot of time on their hands. I knew from seeing advertisements on Facebook, for instance, that there was “some” business application for it but in the end I had to admit that I just didn’t know the whole story of what it “could” do for my business …

This event seemed like the perfect opportunity to “jump right in” and learn something so with an open mind and a desire to learn I went to the event …. What’s funny is that I decided before I left for the event that I would buy whatever book they had there so I could take it, read it offline and study it cover to cover as I find that “diving right in” is a great way to learn!!

The event itself was great and it was too bad that Shane and Stephen didn’t have more time to talk as this was clearly a bigger topic than the hour or so they had to speak allowed them to explore every topic. It was just enough information however that I was eager to get back and start reading the book so I left the event and started to read that evening and was hooked right away…

CHAPTER 1

Right off the bat they come out with the statement “Burn Your Business Card” which talked about how we really need to examine the way we interact with clients and how we traditionally “do marketing and sales”. One of the great nuggets I took away from this is that the concept of “Drip Marketing” where we subject our clients to a steady drip of communication in the hopes of landing them is a labour intensive and expensive process whereas the “Reverse Drip” espouses that we concentrate on creating great content and really showing that we “care” by talking about what’s important to our clients and contacts and not necessarily to us. If we show that we care about what’s important to those around us this creates trust and relationships and people will eventually “come to us” for information …. The main point I got is this … “Spend time creating relationships and connections … the business opportunity will come later”

CHAPTER 2

This chapter talked about the different levels of engagement in Social Media and how to understand where people are at when formulating your Social Media strategy. It also had encouragement to try and become a “thought leader” and not just sound like everyone else…. The main point I got is this … “Create cool, informative and passion filled information so that it’s attractive to others and they will want to share it”

CHAPTER 3

Social Media Phobia is a very real fear for alot of people … or in my case was more a complete lack of understanding of what is possible. People will naturally retreat to what is familiar around them and what they feel is “safe” …  This chapter mentioned a very interesting point in that “a phobia is an irrational fear or anxiety built around, amongst other things, an untruth”  There is a very real fear of losing control, what’s my ROI, what about security, will people listen…etc…etc…

The main point I got from this chapter is this … “Leave your preconceived notions at the door about what you “think” social media is all about and open your mind to the possibilities and then see if there was anything to be afraid or concerned about”

CHAPTER 4

Ahhhh yes … in any new venture where you are coming into an existing party you need to understand the “Rules Of Engagement” … When you are first starting out in this new sales and marketing process you want to make sure that you understand how to best position your self for success … There are some excellent points made in this chapter such as “Stop Pitching and Start Connecting” and “It’s Not About You” amongst many others ….

The main point I learned … “Understand the rules before you start the game and learn from those who have been doing this a long time”

CHAPTER 5

This chapter talked about how your blog should really become your home base and should really be structured like a conversation with participants. You blog about something interesting and informative, people comment on it either positively or negatively and you engage them in “conversation” and everyone benefits … They key here is to just get started, be consistent and always listen to what people are saying and adjust accordingly..

CHAPTER 6

Online Video Blogging is discussed in this chapter and is described as yet another way to engage the people coming to your blog. It’s described as the closest thing really to a face-to-face meeting…. Different video blog publishing mediums are laid out as well as excellent input on how to add the best possible content for your “viewers”

The key point I took from here : “Don’t feel the need to invest in expensive video equipment …. it’s the content that’s most important and not “necessarily” the quality of production”

CHAPTER 7

Micro-Blogging is presented really as an “online two way conversation” that in the end can really thaw the whole concept of a cold call. When actively engaging in Microblogger through mediums like Twitter your potential contacts get a chance to get to know you before you may even meet face to face …

As in previous chapters the key here is produce content that other people will find interesting and engaging so that they will want to follow you and see what you’re up to…

The key takeaway for me here was this “Create great and engaging content so as to make yourself interesting and followable”

CHAPTER 8

The different social media networks available to you are discussed in this chapter with the highlights of each laid out in detail.

CHAPTER 9

When you go into any new situation or social group there are always different points of etiquette that should be followed to put your presence in the best light possible. This chapter goes into great details about many social media “do’s and dont’s” but not from a lecturing standpoint as much as a “here’s how to present yourself in the best possible way” ..

The main take away for me here is this … “Once you hit enter it’s done! … Think 3 times before hitting enter once … put some thought into what you have to say and make sure you consider how what you say will be received”

CHAPTER 10

This chapter really deals with Trolls and Naysayers who will often jump into your Social Media world … Some are just looking to stir up controversy whereas some may just plain old disagree with you … You don’t need the whole world to agree with you to be effective and as well someone may be mean but they may also be right in what they say.

The key take away for me here is this : “Don’t run away from negativity … embrace it, learn from it and use it as an opportunity to learn something and possibly gain a new friend”

CHAPTER 11

There is never any better thing than a true to life, real face-to-face meeting with someone. The hard part up to this point has been to create the opportunity for that face-to-face meeting to take place. We must always be looking to leverage our social media contact into real world “toe to toe” meetups and contacts.

Different methods for using Social Media to create real-world gatherings is discussed …

Key Takeaway : “Always be looking for opportunities to get together and network with people in the real world”

CHAPTER 12

As important as it is to build your brand and build connections with people is the ability to know what people are saying about you and your company. This is an excellent chapter which outlines the many tools freely available to allow you to peek into what conversations are happening and what they are saying (positively or negatively) about you and your brand …

Access to this kind of information is invaluable to knowing how to react to an ever changing market or perhaps a new service or product you have launched

Key Takeaway : “Always seek to be aware of what the market and customers are saying”

CHAPTER 13

Now it’s time to get started … this chapter really summarizes the main points in the book and lays out an action plan for you to follow to get started in creating your Social Media strategy …

SUMMARY

As mentioned in my opening comments I went into the original seminar and the reading of this book with an open mind and a desire to learn everything I could about this subject. There’s a ton to learn here and there is the tendency to feel like you’ve “taken a sip from a fire hose” with all the information and possibilities out there.

The main nuggets I feel I received from this book are as follows:

  1. Take a second to realize what’s possible with an effective SocialMedia strategy
  2. Purpose in your mind that you “will” have some sort of presence in the Social Media universe
  3. Take the time to learn and study what’s out there
  4. Don’t think that you have to right off the bat open up 25 different account of 25 different platforms … you can start with one or two platforms and go from there and learn as you go
  5. Be open to feedback from others and tailor your approach as you go

Overall this has been an excellent book and it has really made me stop and think …. which in this fast paced world of ours is a real sign of an excellent read.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone … you can get more information about how to buy book by visiting http://www.sociablebook.com/

You can also follow the authors Shane Gibson (@shanegibson) and Stephen Jagger (@sjagger) on Twitter to learn more about them

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