30 DAYS TO SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS

Gail Martin’s book, 30 Days to Social Media Success, aids those unfamiliar with social media technology in their quest to create a successful online marketing and advertising platform. It is mostly geared towards small business owners who want to take the step into social networking and gives a very general outline of how they can do so quickly and effectively: Martin provides instructions on how to create a Facebook page and other various simple steps towards a social media savvy existence. The book seems very outdated and geared towards people who know almost nothing about social media (which today, is very uncommon). Martin provides some productive advice and guidance but for the most part does not effectively cultivate a good understand of social media in regards to business strategy.

Throughout her book, Martin sticks to the acronym RESULTS: Recommit, Expect success, Seek partners, Understand your audience, Look for win-win scenarios, Take strategic action, and Stay visible. She encourages her readers to harness the power of social media sites by taking advantage of its results and casting a wide net by meeting new people and reconnecting with old colleagues and friends.  One thing Martin is sure to emphasize is the importance of having and maintaining a true voice and real story to create authenticity. This ties into Liu’s theory about taste preferences and social media—Martin is supporting the authenticity taste preference as the most influential.

For a very uninformed or inexperienced person, this book might seem extremely useful, but it is most likely very few people would get much out of Martin’s advice. One of Martin’s suggestions is to allocate a thirty minute segment to social media each day in order to use it effectively and to its full potential. It is very important for a business trying to market themselves with social media to be extremely active, but thirty minutes a day is hardly enough. Businesses who want to reach out to their clients and partners should use their social media regularly throughout the day to respond to questions and concerns and to update their audience with the latest news. Another lacking feature of Martin’s book in personal anecdotes or examples of successful social media marketing. For an audience that knows so little about Facebook and Twitter, example and/or pictures would probably be extremely beneficial.

Another major flaw in Martin’s writing is her lack of distinction between different social networking sites. She kind of treats each site the same and making few distinctions between them all. In actuality, Linkedn is extremely different than Twitter and should be handled very differently, especially for any type of business. Specifically, sites like Twitter and Facebook should be monitored and updated on a very regular basis while sites like Linkedn do not need as much attention. Each site also has a different target audience. Linkedn is for older professionals while Twitter is geared towards a younger, hip crowd.

What Martin really fails to address is how to handle social media marketing after her suggested thirty days. Longevity with social media is very important especially since so much advertising and marketing depends on the capabilities of social networks today. Her readers are left wondering what do to with their Facebooks and Twitter after a short month. It would have been beneficial for Martin to include some suggestions on how to maintain a strong, enduring presence and how to cope with upcoming changes and developments in social media.

Gail Martin provides a good introduction to social media marketing and use for small businesses, but it is very general and limited. She fails to address many important issues and strategies when utilizing social media sites and leaves her reader with a far too basic understanding of social networks. Her words might have been more effective if she only discussed one or two specific sites in depth, had included specific examples and personal anecdotes, and gotten a younger person’s perspective on the world of social media.

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30 Days to Social Media Success Rough Draft

  • The use of a mix of weak and strong ties is supported by Martin
  • Intended for people who are not used to social media / web 2.0 in general
  • More for small business owners than big corporations
  • Big proponent of using your voice, not forcing it
  • Building the brand name
  • Pushing for a domestication of social media into every sort of business, not just ones that need to market to global audiences.
  • More social construction of technology vs deterministic because of the way Gail Martin shows how to manipulate social media to work for your needs, not the other way around.
  • The advice itself is interesting
  • Big push for small but consistent steps
  • Incorporates a wide variety of social media
  • Doesn’t go much beyond the 30 day plan
  • Some SNS don’t apply to some people, but a sort of “one business fits all (SNS)” approach is taken

*Comment

The formatting got completely messed up when I transferred from Word…. ><;;

Blog Post Book Review

Gail Martin definitely knows how to market herself. Amazon review after Amazon review raves about her book, 30 Days to Social Media Success , because of the ease and applicability of information within. Perhaps, in 2010 this guide was sensible. But today, you may say it’s a bit outdated. Regardless of the nature of the text being outdated, Martin does an effective job gearing her book to a certain audience: small business owners who are very unfamiliar with the internet, so much so that they need a how-to guide for creating a Facebook account and even a guide to uploading a profile picture. Though many feel she was successful at teaching people to use social media, her ideas with implementing them into a business model includes many contradictions and information that will not work unless it is incorporated across business platforms outside of the internet. The book was too dumb to effectively accomplish anything or assist business wise.

Martin begins by sharing insights on her belief of success and how this book will assist in achieving success through social media. She displays her expertise by telling us all about herself and how smart she is and how much she knows because of how long she has been working with businesses and social media. Then, she delves into specifics with each type of social media platform and ensures that 30 minutes each day dedicated to each chapter will help improve their business through the use of social media. Then, after going through each type of media platform available online (in 2010…) we hear her advice as to why this will help and how to effectively market, use P.R. and reach consumers through the web. All of this results in SALES. As Martin says, success is defined by, “being in the right place at the right time to meet with people interested and able to purchase your products or services.”

Throughout her guide to using social media, we can associate a lot of her ideas for using social media in a business setting with certain social media theories. At one point, Martin explains a very important aspect of a business with a social media presence: having a “true voice” and “real story” to create an authentic feel for the company. Incorporating true stories about the business’ history on their social networking sites,  allows customers to sense the authenticity and honesty in their business. Though this is a very important aspect that most small businesses incorporate, Martin never considers the fact that a business must coincide across all platforms. If they are not authentic within their store, or if the history of their company and the “real story” or “true voice” is not a large component of their current business model, incorporating it on social media gives false hope and ideas of what the business is about to customers. It can become deceiving. This can then be considered performance of the Authenticity taste preference according to Liu. The Real Voice and True Story may create a sense that the company is very authentic and honest yet, it may be a performance verses a reality.  Will customers see through this?

Similarly, much of what Martin informs her reader is ineffectively targeting her target. Is Martin speaking to a business owner or employee or is she speaking to a regular person? Her main audience is people wishing to implement a social media strategy to help further their business. Though this can mean anything from a corporation to a small business, it is obvious much of her information is tailored to smaller businesses. However, the idea that she is targeting smaller businesses is more obvious because of her vagueness. Indirectly, whether her audience includes small business owners or larger businesses anticipating the use of social media, this book is truly just a guide, for anybody outside of a business setting or within a business setting to learn how to use social media somewhat effectively.

Similarly, because her target is not narrowed down she contradicts herself. Her advice with reach is that social media can effectively create buzz about a company. This is very true. If a company is using social media to reach their customers about a specific event then, according to Martin, people want to be “in the know,” so they share information with friends and the company then has the potential to reach many people. Then, in a later chapter, Martin contradicts herself by basically saying quality is not quantity.  If a company wants reach, they can use social media, but indirectly Martin’s addresses the idea that consumers may not truly be participating through social media with the company therefore, it may be ineffective. Though this is what Martin means, she is very vague and hardly goes into detail. Therefore, it is clear what she means being someone in the know about social media, but those learning may find her to be confusing.

The most disappointing part of Drake’s book was her lack of enforcing the use and practice of social media daily. She includes well over fifteen platforms that she expects the reader to learn for one 30 minute segment over the full 30 day learning experience her book provides. Though this does allow the reader to explore his options, it does not allow him to accustom himself fully with each specific platform. In order to truly learn social media, you must take the time to play around on a site, explore and learn on your own. She never once mentions the idea that we need to participate in social media before we can effectively use it for business. If a business owner cannot navigate his own personal Facebook page, how will he successfully navigate his business’ page? Similarly, it is not effective for a business, especially a small business (since we are convinced that is who she is targeting to whether it was her original target) to realistically use all of the social media platforms she uses successfully. It is very unrealistic. The book also feels unrealistic because not once do we hear a personal story of Drake’s experience with social media. Instead we receive a brief and unrealistic portrayal of how to successfully incorporate social media into your business.

“30 Days” Book Review Outline

I. Thesis: In her book, 30 days to Social Media Success, marketing expert Gail Z. Martin discusses how to achieve social media success in an extremely basic way that is targeted to an older generation who did grow up with the Internet as an integral part of life and business; her lack of detail and use of generalizations weaken what could have potentially been a more useful book for a larger scope of people.

II. Summary of book’s content and format 

  •  Goal to “rethink, reenergize, and restart social media marketing”
  • R.E.S.U.L.T.S.
  • Ch. 1-7: Ensuring marketing strategy aligns with business goals
  • Ch. 8-21: How to use social media to promote businesses
  • Ch. 22-30: Ties together business goals and social media strategy
  • Discussion of intended audience

III. Strengths: How the book reflects popular social media discourse and course concepts

  • Martin highlights the domestication discourse (Baym)
  • Idea of a real story and a “true voice” – addresses inauthenticity  (Baym)
  • Using social media for business purposes calls attention to Beers’ critique of boyd and Ellison – economic components, critique of capitalism, etc.

IV. Weaknesses: How the text contradicts or ignores course concepts

  • Discrepancies about what qualifies as social media (boyd & Ellison, Donath) and what it is used for (“On Facebook, it’s ok to talk to strangers…” vs. Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe)
  • Assumes all consumers and businesses will engage in media multiplexity (Haythornthwaite)
  • Does not address different types of ties and social capital each site fosters (Baym; Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe)
  • Does not encourage participant observation of different social media profiles before diving in to use the sites for business purposes (Nardi)
  • Approaches social media marketing with somewhat of a slacktivist attitude (Kendzior)

V. Conclusion/Final Opinions

Draft: 30 Days to Social Media Success

Main points in the book:

  • Author Gail Martin takes a domestication approach (with a marketing angle)when it comes to social media. equating it to being a cost-efficient advertisement platform
  • “RESULTS” acronym signifying “Recommit, Expect success, Seek partners, Understand your audience, Look for win-win scenarios, Take strategic action, Stay visible”
  •  Social Networking Sites=power, how to “harness” that power
  • Don’t let SNS use you, take advantage of it for results
  • Reconnect with old colleagues, friends, clients to expand reach
  • Meet other possible clients and partners online
  • Don’t be a social media pariah, or “orphan” as Martin puts it
  • Allow your company to come across as more of a personality, and less of a brand
  • Make personal connections with those online (goes back to being a “person” online and convincing authenticity)
  • Invest time in social media, allocate at least 30 minutes a day
  • Those you choose to retweet or befriend is more telling about you than them
Big picture:  Marketing guidelines and tips presented in Martin’s book could relate back to one’s everyday social usage of their social media too. The same way that a company tries to sell you a product through SNS is the same way you try to sell (or I guess “convince”) others your identity.

Criticism of the claims:

  • Hiring one social media guru is not enough to maintain all of the SNS Martin proposes
  • Martin seems to paint over her points with broad strokes without even giving concrete examples or advise. i.e. Martin advises to add 30 people/followers a day on Facebook and Twitter. How will a small unrecognizable company garner followers and friends if you and I usually do not befriend/follow names we don’t know?
  • 30 Days for results, but what about after the 30 days? How do you sustain the “success” after the 30 days? Author fails to address.
  • Author does not define what “success” in social media means. On one hand she says don’t reach too high if you’re a small company, but in the later chapters she pushes you to take your social media to global scale
  • Author approaches each social media site with the same methods, but LinkedIn should be handled much differently than, say, YouTube
  • Digg is kind of, a little, really, super outdated

30 Days To….

Author, speaker and entrepreneur Gail Martin delivers a well-rounded strategy for small businesses to understand and succeed in today’s social media landscape in her book 30 Days to Social Media Success. Divided into thirty short “bite-sized” sections, Martin is determined to help her reader “rethink, reenergize, and restart” their social media marketing endeavors. Her RESULTS approach (recommit to marketing, expect success, seek partners, understand your audience, look for win-win scenarios, take strategic action, stay visible) drives this how-to book, highlighting that only YOU can be your most valued resource. Martin helps you focus your business goals, understand the anatomy of social media sites, and debunk social media myths – all in an effort to showcase the beneficial technological affordances.

 

Although the book is targeted at the small business owner or solo professional, anybody who is interested in gaining social capital from the popular sites (Facbeook, Twitter, LinkedIn), can benefit from her rather basic strategies. For those who are versed in the ins-and-outs of social media, her language and ideas may seem oversimplified and novice. But she isn’t talking to them. Her readers are small, busy business owners who don’t want to pay for a marketing company to devise an expensive plan. They have a solid presence offline and for various reasons (scared, unfamiliar, unwilling, too busy), haven’t fully committed to the virtual world. She wants us to be successful netizens, who view social media as a networking tool that can deliver business success.

 

Martin admits that social media can’t do everything. It isn’t going to make us millionaires over night or sell a poor quality product, she says. The platform provides the backbone, but the business (YOU) has to do its part. The nature of her book suggests a domestic approach to technology. She warns the reader that an absence in social media reflects poorly on the company. She constantly draws analogies between physical world actions and virtual actions, suggesting how interconnected the two worlds are. For example, going on Facebook is like walking into a business luncheon and joining a new site is like becoming the new kid on the block. These references help bridge the gap for people who are hesitant or fearful about being active online, and encourage people to view social media as just another stepping stone towards increased profit, customers and awareness.

 

When a seemingly full bag of chips is actually half full or a shirt marked on “sale” was overpriced in the first place, marketing ethics becomes a problem. It’s the same for social media. Should companies falsely promise their clients value when it’s not there? Martin tackles this in Chapter 6, where she offers tips for pinpointing your story and true voice. I wish she had discussed the competitive nature of social media marketing. As much as authenticity is a desired outcome, the technology itself sets limits. A strong, confident personal story is a start. But learning how to navigate the platforms as well as understanding how your competitors perform their identities, is key to positioning your own. Is there happy medium between Goffman’s front and backstage displays? Is social media changing our story? Gail never delves deep enough.

 

In her enthusiasm for social media (and who doesn’t like a passionate author!), Martin lost touch with the 30-day idea. The title alone is misleading; it’s not about getting suddenly successful in 30 days as much as it is grasping a firm grip on how social media can fit into your personal business. After all, she notes that “insufficient patience” is one of the reasons marketing fails. Martin’s ideas would have benefited from pictures and detailed stories about successful/unsuccessful case studies. At times, it feels like a bunch of great ideas but no execution on her part as author. What makes company B better than company A? What does a strong tie vs. a weak tie look like online? Recognizing our audience is the first step, but communicating effectively with them is another. How do we achieve that? Martin spends too much time on general business/marketing goals instead of the nature of the social media landscape – it just isn’t as similar to a “luncheon” or “cocktail party” as we wish it were. What happened to context collapse?

30 Days to Social Media Success(?)

Oh the power of a pretty book cover and mediocre Amazon reviews. For a woman who knows how to market her own book pretty well (we did all buy a copy, didn’t we?), it really surprises me that the marketing advice she offers within the book is…lacking, to say the least. However, I wouldn’t consider myself part of her target audience so perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh.

Martin’s book is best suited for professionals that already have an established business that has been just getting by through word-of-mouth marketing. But for whatever reason, they have decided to take a leap forward by joining the rest of the world online. Her “anatomy” breakdown of popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are obviously aimed at people who have had no experience with these sites whatsoever. She also seems a little more geared toward professionals who are trying to sell a service more than a product.

 Martin claims she has been in the marketing industry for over 25 years and that is reflected in the advice she provides—in the sense that most of what she was saying is very spot on. She placed a heavy emphasis on commitment and consistency to one’s social media marketing and that is very true, however she doesn’t take it a step further to the point where she is encouraging domestication. She encourages her readers to spend a 30 minutes everyday on social media marketing. This of course probably has to do with the fact that most of her readers are either the only employee of their business or have extremely limited staff, but to only block off 30 minutes every morning is unrealistic and impractical. Sure there are programs that let you schedule content for the rest of the day, however Martin forgets(?) to mention how important it is to reply back and interact with potential clients/customers/fans. Although social media is considered asynchronous communication, the response time for most replies should be made within a couple of hours and most definitely not a day later!

Overall, Martin offers some good points for business owners new to the world of social media, but anyone looking help on social media culture and etiquette should search elsewhere. Martin does not go in-depth enough with any specific social media site and because the book does not zero in on a specific industry, it’s advice and direction is just too vague and will ultimately waste the reader’s time by having them focus on either all social media sites or on ones that are irrelevant to their business.

30 Days to Social Media Success—Gail Z. Martin

30 Days to Social Media Success—Gail Z. Martin

  1. Review Baym’s four major social discourses of new technology. How would you describe your book in terms of these discourses?
    1. Technology Determinism: There is no technological determinism aspect that pushes this book because she explicitly states that the audience that the reader is trying to reach will determine which social media platforms the reader should be more focused on
    2. Social Construction of Technology: There is a little of this aspect in the book, but it is not extreme. She suggests that by following your audience to the social media platforms that they are using most, the reader will be able to get a better idea of where to start.
    3. Social Shaping—Because the author didn’t get that into depth with any single platform, it’s hard to make the case.
    4. Domestication—There is almost no aspect of domestication in this book because the author limits the time spent doing any one activity.
  2. Who do you think the audience is for your book? Does this affect what ideas the books address and how these ideas are talked about?
    1. Audience is most like small business owners who have few employees. These business owners are most likely wearing a lot of different hats (also doing the accounting, sales, management, marketing, etc.) of the store.
    2. The chapter on YouTube and Flickr seems to open up to a different kind of social media platform that is on a different level than either Facebook or Twitter. I think that once you’ve established a presence on both FB and Twitter, you can move onto bigger platforms (like YouTube/ Flickr).
    3. 30 minutes for maintaining and spreading your social media marketing influence is definitely not enough, especially in the beginning stages of social media marketing. To really get your name out there and build a strong foundation, you really need to commit more time.
    4. I think that the author needs to emphasize the importance of engaging and interacting with the reader’s audience much more.
  3. Does your book address any ethical implications of social media and marketing? How so?
    1. I don’t think that there are any overt ethical implications just because she doesn’t actually advise the reader strongly to do something or not to do something. The author basically just introduces the reader to different platforms and ideas rather than really encouraging them to make a strong action.

Blog 4: Book Review Rough Draft

Book: “30 Days to Social Media Success”

by: Gail Z. Martin

  • Audience: seems to be an older audience she is addressing; people who are already established professionals with businesses who now need to expand their businesses online using social media; busy individuals who wants a crash course into the world of social media
  • Discourse Used: Domestication- sets up the notion that social media is a necessary part of business and life nowadays emphasizing that it’s not just a fad; if people want to succeed in business they must succeed in social media
  • Myths About Social Media: 1. it’s just for kids 2. it’s just a fad 3. it’s all you need 4. quantity trumps quality 5. i’m too busy for social media
  • Issues with her points:
  • 1. she contradicts herself a lot- says quantity doesn’t trump quality and that you should know your audience, but then focuses a lot on spreading the word of one’s business rather than focusing it on a specific group
  • 2. doesn’t suggest that one should participate in social media prior to creating a business profile using it; you need to understand how users use it before you can target your audience
  • 3. too brief and unrealistic- seems like a marketing ploy/ quick-fix; also unrealistic to do 1 thing each day for 30 days
  • 4. she has no personal stories of how these techniques helped her- nothing to back up her suggestions
  • 5. doesn’t clearly prioritize- lists numerous sites to use, but it’s unrealistic to keep up with all of them
  • Good Points:
  • know your competitors- use them to expand your business/ turn them into partners
  • notion of having a “true voice” and telling your own personal stories- helps authenticate your business
  • having a business plan/ action plan

Love is Not Abuse

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Home Screen

Last year, fashion company Liz Claiborne Inc. launched the “Love is Not Abuse” campaign to raise awareness about relationship abuse. And to target digital relationship abuse among teenagers, they released an iPhone app that allows parents to take the positions of their teenage children by receiving texting, emailing and calling from a fictional abusive boyfriend or girlfriend. According to the article found on Mashable.com, nearly 24% of American teens have been a victim of technology abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend, but because these teens do not recognize that they are in an abusive relationship, they remain in the dangerous relationship. Psychotherapist Dr. Jill Murray, a contributor to the app, claims many parents often overlook dating abuse, while concentrating on other topics such as drugs, alcohol and sex. This app, she hopes, will help parents recognize characteristics of abusive relationships and to get parents talking to their teens regarding this serious issue.

 

After reading this article, I immediately downloaded the app myself to get a better understanding. Upon opening the app, you are greeted by an introduction video that discusses relationship abuse. After the video, you are given two options: to experience the digital dating abuse simulator or to read up on information regarding teen dating abuse. I of course jumped right into the simulator and was quite shocked by the experience I received. During the course of the simulation that covered topics such as checking up, threatening, excessive contact, sexting and family and friends, I received over 10 phone calls, 5 text messages and 5 emails, all filled with very negative content. And even though it was just a simulation, I couldn’t help but feel just the tiniest bit less about myself afterwards. I would definitely recommend everyone to download it and experience it for themselves.

Missed Calls

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Example of "Checking In" Text

There were a couple of things I noticed from the app that was also pointed out in the article and that was how gender-biased the app was. During the threatening topic, I was explicitly contacted by a male character and during the excessive contact topic, I was contacted by a female character. I give the app credit for just having a male abuse victim, however I think but using the violent male stereotype and the clingy female stereotype, that could seriously mislead parents into thinking that females cannot be threatening and males cannot be stalkers, which is obviously not true. Actually, I was once told by a police officer that in most relationship abuse cases, it is actually the male who is the victim however because he is usually too ashamed to report it, we don’t often hear of them.

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Example of "Threatening" Text

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Example of "Excessive Contact" Email

 The second thing I noticed is a point Amy Hasinoff heavily criticizes in her article Sexting as media production. Hasinoff points out that safety campaigns against sexting often target the victims, rather than the perpetrators. These safety campaigns tell young women how to behave in order to avoid sexual predators, almost treating these young women as the ones to blame. Like the sexting campaigns, “Love is Not Abuse,” does not address the abuser but the victims and it teaches parents how to talk with the victim, even though it is clearly the abuser who needs counseling. In this case, it is almost worse than the sexting campaigns because it treats the issue after the incident has occurred whereas the sexting campaign was a preventative measure.

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Example of "Sexting" Email

 

Overall, the article nor the app ever explicitly points to social media as being a factor for relationship abuse among teens however because of the way the “Love is Not Abuse,” campaign used digital media to target teens within their campaign shows that they do believe there is some kind of correlation. The “Love is Not Abuse” campaign does not only target teen relationships as the app would lead one to believe, but targets relationships of all ages; it just uses more traditional mediums such as print to target adult relationships. It was when the campaign wanted to focus in on teens did they come up with the idea of the iPhone app. The app indicated that most teenage relationship abuse occurred in the form of digital media, which is why the iPhone app was needed in order for parents to really experience how their teenage children felt in an abusive relationship.

Mashable did a great job presenting the app and the concept however I don’t think the campaign itself was done thought out extremely well. Yes the app was extremely interesting however the campaign spokesperson is Tim Gunn. Sure teenagers may know him from Project Runway but other than that, they do not have much connection to him. He was probably chosen for the job because he is Liz Claiborne’s Chief Creative Officer, but in the video where he presents the iPhone app, he is very dry and not interesting at all. I think this app could have made more headlines if promoted properly.