After years of trial and error and months of writing, The New Community Rules (O’Reilly link | Amazon link) has been released, and I wanted to dive into some of the concepts I discuss in the book, many of which I hope to explore in depth in future blog posts.
The New Community Rules talks about the important role social media has begun playing in our lives. Most importantly, however, is the role the emerging technology puts on the business owner who is tasked with finding out how to make an impact in this evolving landscape. We’ve seen that individuals nowadays don’t sift through their Yellow Pages to find a local business (nor do many people even own such a big book any longer); they turn to the Internet for help. By using the power of search, they are able to find what they want or would be reasonably happy with.
Search alone, however, isn’t cutting it. What if, on the first page of search results, you discover that people are very disappointed with the business? What if someone can’t stop singing praises about the product she just bought? If you’re looking at buying a product or utilizing a service, chances are you’re looking for the sentiment about that product or service as well.
That’s why social media is important. It’s incredibly easy for someone to put up a web page and show how much they like or dislike a company. And when the reviews are genuine and diverse, people are able to make a decision whether to proceed with the purchase or look elsewhere.
It doesn’t end there, though. There are two things that act as an extension to social media: #1: great customer service, especially since everything is now public, and #2: great content, so that you can do something that is clearly remarkable that people would want to talk about.
How do you do #1? Listening. You’ll get exposure to case studies of companies that do this well and review cases of companies where listening severe impacted the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. You’ll learn the importance of transparency and understand why this matters to your business.
Great content, #2, works across the board for social media. Why does one have to visit the same old web page with the same old messaging? How does one actually make their great content something people want to talk about and share with their friends? Fortunately, we have social media communities to inspire us. The best part? Access to these social media communities is free.
We’re seeing an incredible paradigm shift from a paid model to a virtually free model. The only substantial cost for you is time. How many of you would really want to ignore such a viable source of business that comes at such an affordable price? Why not dive into the landscape and understand it so that you can better target your messaging to achieve substantial return on investment? Social media is here to stay. You need to be ready to play or you’ll die out while your competitors continue to evolve while you sit on the sidelines.
After you’re quite certain you’re ready to dig into the social media world and you have formulated a strategy, the latter half of the book will guide you through popular existing tools that can ease your way into social media. You’ll learn:
- What’s the hype about LinkedIn and how can I use it?
- How do I make a killer Facebook page?
- Is MySpace marketing really worth it?
- How do I craft a corporate strategy for blogging?
- When should I use Digg?
- What is the benefit of delicious?
- How are small and large companies using Twitter, and how can I do the same?
- Should I start a video blog?
- How can I market effectively with Flickr?
- How can I get changes made to my company’s Wikipedia page?
- How can I navigate the millions of questions on Yahoo! Answers so that I can make my mark?
- What content works best on StumbleUpon?
- …and more
The New Community Rules will serve the needs of the one-man business to the corporate entity looking to understand the fast-changing nature of social media as they look to market their products and formulate strategy. It can also impart valuable knowledge to the agency or press relations entities looking to understand how to craft their messages so that it can make a real profound impact.
I hope you enjoy the book and find it valuable. Feel free to contact me if you want me to expound upon concepts discussed in the book on this blog or if you have any thoughts or feedback!