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 The book seems very outdated and geared towards people who know almost nothing about social media (which today, is very uncommon).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.

Rough Draft of the not so “Zen of Social Media Marketing”

 

 

 

Chapter 1 – Successful marketing steps: attract, convert, transform

Chapter 2 – Websites, social media integration, and blogging

Chapter 3 – Search Engine Optimization

Chapter 4 – Social media marketing: why, how to use, which to use

Chapter 5 – “Facebook”

Chapter 6 – “Twitter”

Chapter 7 – “LinkedIn”

Chapter 8 – “Google+”

Chapter 9 – Social Advertising – Groupon, LivingSocial etc.

Chapter 10 – Video (she calls this the most powerful)

Chapter 11 – Creating a social media policy for business

 

Technological Determinism: Chapter 4, 5-8

–       here is the technology, and here is how it affects us

Social Construction*: Blogging, Facebook, Twitter Chapter 2, 5, 6

–       how interaction on this media can help marketing a company

–       *mainly takes this approach

Social Shaping:

–       online ability to market (and be successful) comes both from technology and from people’s use of technology

Domestication:

–       How these processes are becoming normal in marketing

–       The way it attracts, integration, facebook

 

Authenticity

–       Shama stresses the fact of having a good foundation and being honest with clients/customers/audience

 

Identity

–       creating the brand, individualization

–       who are you?

–       Website construction, Social media use, and blogging

 

Audience for the book:

–       Older generation

–       Little to no experience using SNS

–       Business owners that need help transitioning in the new age of technology driven markets

 

–       Terribly boring book, not interesting

–       Too intensive on information that is already clear/obvious

–       Very self-promotional

–       Facts/statistics in the book are not supported

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.

“The Zen Of Social Media Marketing” Outline

I.        Introduction

a.       Summarize content and layout

i.      Easy to read bullet points

ii.      Four sections made out of 12 chapters

1.      Chapters 1-4: online marketing basics

2.      Chapters 5-9: each deal with SMS

3.      Chapters 10, 11: disjointed

4.      Chapter 12: conclusion

b.      Thesis: Each section of the book takes a technologically deterministic approach, scaring the social media illiterate intended audience toward listening to the author’s most basic, and rather unhelpful, advice.

II.     Chapters 1-4 deal with the most basic aspects of a business web presence in an attempt to convince the reader that they need the author’s help.

a.       First chapter deals with online marketing basicsà even breaks down how digital tools translate old marketing into new marketing.

b.      2nd chapter: deals with websites and blogs, calls them your new office

c.       3rd chapter: deals with SEO- the second parahraphy explains how google works in comparision to traditional marketing’s funnel

d.      4th chapter: Dips its toe into the social media marketing world.

i.      Much like the readings we did for last week Compares social media to aconversation where as new media was a monologue

e.       All of these examples create a technologically deterministc ideology that technology has changed our society’s marketing  taticts that we need to adapt.

III.   Chapters 5-9 each deal with an individual social networking site, and in doing so make it clear that the author’s audience is meant to be one that has no interaction with social media.

a.       In the Facebook chapter she spends pages on her own profile

b.      In the Twitter chapter she claims that everyone should get a short twitter handle, preferably their name.

c.       The chapter on LikdenIn seems to focus more on how to build a resume than utilize LinkedIn

d.      She devotes a whole chapter to Google +, a social media platform that has not been proven successful.

e.       Like the group discussed in class (and Dani mentioned in her blog post 4), she gives no discussion to unique user culture in each of these arenas, making it seem as if the technology are meant to only function  in one way, and that that way is the way she is telling us.

IV.  Chapters 10-12 seem disjointed from the rest, again intended to confuse the reader into think that the author’s way is the only way.

a.       Chapter ten is about video being the most powerful social media tool, although the chapter is just a mess of video jargon easily understandable to the average tech savy user.

b.      Chapter 11 is about creating a social media policy for a company—with a particular focus on small business that calls into question just who the book is aimed for.

c.       Chapter 12 tries to conclude, but ultimately fails.

d.      Again the author is trying to show that technology is all over our lives.

V.     Through out the book the author tries to fear the technology illiterate into believing that her method is the only method, and although each chapter works towards this goal over arching themes of the book do as well.

a.       As Lucas pointed out in discussion, she sites few statistics and when she does, she does not provide information about where they are from.

b.      Most of her stories are from personal experience, in fact in every chapter about a social media network she boasts her own ‘success stories’

VI.  Conclusion

Draft Book Review

Theories

1. Social Shaping

  • With its real-time human-driven results, Twitter has become the networking, information, and search engine of choice for many business professionals. (2)
  • There is a Tao to Twitter. There is a majestic random synergy that holds the potential to impact your life daily…if you know what you’re doing. (5)
2. Taste Performance
3. Identity Through Connections
4. Real People/ authenticity
  • There is a high value for authenticity and being human on Twitter…(13)
  • The Tao of Twitter formula= targeted connections+meaningful content+authentic happiness
  • the priority is on human interaction that leads to connections….trust is the ultimate catalyst to business benefits (15)
  • People are sick of being sold to, marketed to, and tricked into clicking on links…(14)
  • Through my stream of info on Twitter, he felt he knew me too. We had formed a connection that lead to friendship and trust
  • Add some personality (27)
5. Social capital
  • Content is the currency of the social web…(12)
  • Through my stream of info on Twitter, he felt he knew me too. We had formed a connection that lead to friendship and trust (18)
  • Once somebody understands how the networking operates and the range of business benefits that exist beyond just money, it’s easy to make the decision to give it a chance.
6. Community
  • I was witnessing a real-time, global brain storming session! (4)
  • Twitter tribe (7)
  • questions to the world (21)
7. Strong, Weak and Latent Ties
  • Through my stream of info on Twitter, he felt he knew me too. We had formed a connection that lead to friendship and trust. (18)
  • The more followers the more potential interactions, the more opportunities to create business benefits.
8. Network vs. Networking
  • I made my first meaningful business connection. (4)
  • A torrent of links, humor, and insights came rushing to me every day as I learned to surround myself with thought leaders, teachers, and innovators. (5)
  • Like any smart networker, she had taken care to surround herself with people she could learn from. (6)
  • …the conditions were ripe for this connection because all three of us had systematically surrounded ourselves with people likely to want to know us, learn from us and help us. (12)
  • Through my stream of info on Twitter, he felt he knew me too. We had formed a connection that lead to friendship and trust. (18)
8. Friends vs friends
  • I had recently moved our online relationship into an offline relationship when I met him for lunch in his home state…(8)
  • the more atoms you have in the tube, the better your chances that a reaction will occur! (12)
    • The more followers the more potential interactions, the more opportunities to create business benefits.
    • add users who are interested in the same topic as you. (29)
9. Performing identity
  • I wanted to “reach” my “target audience” with well-defined “messaging”. (13)

Audience

Keywords

Sources

Formula

Crush It! rough draft

Gary Vaynerchuk speaks from his experiences throughout his how-to guide on creating your own personal brand in Crush It!. Gary’s purpose throughout this book is to guide everyday social media users on how to take the creative concepts they have and turn them into successful and very realistic business entrepreneurships. The audience he’s speaking to is thus not necessarily very tech-savvy individuals, but more so average people interacting with the media around them. However, he makes it clear that the only type of people who will attain successful results from Crush It! are those who have a passion to turn their dreams into their real lives, even if they have some reservations about how to get there. Without passion, he says, you have nothing (Vaynerchuk 8).

Gary doesn’t specify what types of personal brands users may want to establish because he has the same business model for all types of people. The entire book revolves around this idea of passion – everything he mentions relates back to the importance of individuals taking advantage of the best marketing strategy there is out there: caring (Vaynerchuk 90). He breaks the book up into a number of sections, including the importance of family, utilizing social media, monetizing your brand, maintaining authenticity, and leaving a legacy behind (which is more important that gaining monetary capital). Yet all these bits and pieces tie into one overarching theme: passion can get you anywhere.

While I can’t say I completely agree with Vaynerchuk that passion is all you need for success (I mean come on, this guy is a little too optimistic to think money means nothing!), Crush It! was certainly an interesting take on how the average person can really turn themselves into an entrepreneur with no past business endeavors. This being said, it’s clear that Gary believes in the social construction of technology as a discourse; he believes that the technology users create responds directly to their already existing social influences. The idea and creativity that those trying to create their own brand have didn’t come from the technology, but rather social media is a tool that can be utilized to expand and develop that brand. Your creativity and passion is what gets the ball rolling and the technology is just there to speed things up (Vaynerchuk 21).

Vaynerchuk also makes it clear that it’s important to not only be true to your clientele and brand, but also (and more importantly) to yourself (Vaynerchuk 33). He stresses the importance of maintaining authenticity when monetizing and marketing your brand (Vaynerchuk 73). The worst thing you can do is lose sight of your original goals; that’s when you lose passion and stray away from your true intentions of being happy (Vaynerchuk 10). That is when you let the currency get ahead of you, and it’s clear that Vaynerchuk believes it’s more important to leave a legacy of yourself behind than make money and lose your enthusiasm (Vaynerchuk 110).

This is very reflective of a number of concepts we’ve discussed throughout the course. His ideals about authenticity very accurately reflect different types of taste within social media that Bourdieu analyzes. If you’re the type to have an “authentic” profile on social media, you are presenting your true self to an audience, suggesting you are trustworthy and reliable. These are foundational concepts in Crush It!, as Vaynerchuk believes you can’t maintain a successful brand without being true to yourself and your customers. This might mean that those who identify with other types of taste, such as “prestige” where users feel a need to identify their tastes in relation to a certain type of hierarchy, may not be able to receive the same results from Crush It! as to those who would construct a more “authentic” social media profile like Gary Vaynerchuk.

Somewhat along the same lines, the author discusses the importance of marketing and branding yourself through the creation of a community. He makes note that sometimes creating the content is a lot easier than creating the community because you want to get users hooked and not lose them after one glance (Vaynerchuk 86). This all relates back to having passion and a vision: you need to create an environment, a practice, and an identity that users will trust and build a relationship with despite the fact that this will all be through social media. This very much relates to ideas and problems of community within online spaces in general.

Baym discusses how it was once assumed community would disappear with the coming of the Internet. However, this isn’t true – there are just different ways of communication online. These ways are through a sense of space, shared practice, shared resources and support, shared identities, and interpersonal relationships. These are the exact same types of necessary components of building your own online brand that Vaynerchuk discusses in Crush It! Both authors note the problem with maintaining a sense of community in an online world, but make it clear that while it may be a bit more difficult there is certainly something to gain from this, such as Ellison’s concept of social capital.

Draft for Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer

Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer

I. Concepts:

  • Technological Determinism: Schaefer writes positively of the effects of Twitter and emphasizes the potential connections possible. He does not fully address the negatives of the site. He writes that every tweet is important no matter what the content is about, it is an opportunity.
  • Social capital: Schaefer would absolutely agree that users have potential ties waiting to happen. He writes that users need to take the initiative to follow or tweet at someone. Usually, they will receive a response. Throughout the book he gives examples of weak ties, strong ties, and latent ties; all of this leads to media multiplexity.

II. Audience, structure, content: Schaefer’s book is suitable for Twitter beginners because he breaks down and details the structure of Twitter. He firmly believes that it is beneficial to businesses and that they should try it for new opportunities. He categorizes and gives strategies for how to use it effectively.

III. Ethics: Schaefer does not specifically address any issues with how Twiiter functions. He focuses on the individual making the decisions not how the site itself affects the user. It can be inferred from his book that the power is in the user’s hands and not Twitter, because the user determines what he or she will do. The user determines how much effort to give and the outcomes.

The Tao of Twitter: Changing your life and business 140 characters at a time

A Very Rough Draft

Summary: The Tao of Twitter is essentially a “how-to” manual on the social media site popularly known as Twitter. Throughout the book, Mark Schaefer explains the uses of Twitter, defines Twitter-lingo and teaches readers how to tweet.

Social Discourse:

  • Takes a technological deterministic approach
    • Technological determinism: the idea that technology is a external agent. The assumption that we will see effects and we won’t see them if we don’t use them
    • Through his personal experiences, Schaefer talks about how Twitter is what you make of it
      • He talks about how Twitter provides a plethora of networking opportunities, however in other to reap the benefits of twitter one must find the “Tao of Twitter”
      • How he made beneficial connections, which started because of a simple “Go Steelers” tweet and how he wouldn’t have made those connections without Twitter

Course concepts the book addresses:

  • Forming relationships and community through social media
    • Explains how to make a latent tie into a weak/strong tie
      • How to break the ice with a follower or a person you are following
  • How to target connections
  • Forming identity through social media
    • Incorporates taste preferences
      • He advises people to follow those who are similar to them instead of people who are different (which is something we discussed in class)
      • Echo tunnel
  • Advises people to be authentic
    • Having meaningful content
    • Learning about and reaching consumers
      • Ways to leverage platform for new business benefits

Audience

  • People who have never used twitter before
    • Provides general guidelines
    • Essentially a “Twitter for Dummies” book
  • People who want to network using twitter
    • How to even the most mundane tweets can result in a beneficial connection
      • How it can make a latent tie into a strong or weak tie

Ethical implications of social media and marketing

  • While Schaefer constantly emphasizes the importance of being authentic on twitter, he doesn’t really critique twitter and it’s ethical implications in terms of the power relationship between the people who use social media and the people who own it

Personal Critiques

  • Focuses only on the advantages that Twitter can give you
    • Briefly talks about spamming
    • Doesn’t mention the fact that while people have control over their tweets, there is no control over how people interpret tweets
      • Context collapse
      • Reputability
      • Nightmare audience
    • Puts all the responsibilities on the user
      • Doesn’t blame the platform
        • Doesn’t take into account that while a user may tweet something, the audience interprets it in their own way
        • Doesn’t take into account the nightmare audience
        • Talks about the benefits of increased publicity, but doesn’t mention the possibility of bad publicity
  • Assumes that if the user does get bad publicity, it’s because the user is using the social media wrong
  • Twitter is not for everyone
    • While he acknowledges that some people don’t use twitter, he doesn’t discourage it
    • Really pushes the advantages and the benefits of twitter
    • Seemingly biased