Nick Smith thinks you can. He’s a digital marketing expert based in the UK and the author of Successful Social Media Marketing In A Week. He is also the author of Successful SEO and Search Marketing in a series of ‘In A Week’ business books.
I was initially drawn to this book because of the ‘in a week’ premise, with each day of the week dedicated to building on the skills of the day before while learning new strategies and techniques. Overall, this book speaks best to a small-to-medium sized business owner with a limited budget who is new to the world of social media marketing and looking to initiate their first social media campaign.
The Sunday chapter (also the first chapter) provides a helpful overarching introduction to social media marketing including:
- Popular tools and websites
- Social media marketing statistics (for example: did you know that Pinterest is driving more referral traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined?)
- A guide on how to do social media marketing the right way, which included having a unified marketing message, establishing a strategy in advance, knowing your audience and engaging your audience
The Monday installment provided a few case studies of successful social media marketing campaigns (including the Fiesta Movement by Ford) and highlighted what these campaigns had in common, including:
- Using a combination of platforms such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and other tools to create content (but not using all of the platforms, only the ones that make sense for your business/campaign)
- Committing weekly resources to create content and engage customers
- Paying attention to what your customer is saying about you and your competition
- Balancing organic and paid search engine traffic
The Tuesday chapter really starts to get into the ‘meat and potatoes’ of it all, including a 10-step process for creating a social media marketing plan. This chapter was especially helpful as it laid out an easy-to-follow road map for creating your plan in less than a day. Tip #3 – ‘Know Your Audience’ stood out for me, because it reminds the reader that Facebook isn’t the be all and end all of social networks. A tip that author Nick Smith offers is to also research the particular forums or online communities that your audience frequents and also to think about what your audience would type in a search engine. He briefly explains search engine optimization (SEO) and how to use the Google Keyword Tool to help determine what people are searching for online. The author also encourages the reader to look closely at external factors such as knowing what your competition is doing and to set realistic goals.
Wednesday looks at blogging: blogging platforms, newsworthy (ie. timely) content vs. evergreen (ie. timeless) content. The chapters also aids the reader in setting up the ‘essential’ social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This chapter is best for social media beginners but does offer some value-added tips such as one that I employed: linking your Twitter account to Twylah (www.twylah.com) so that your tweets will be indexed by Google. After using Twylah, I noticed a significant uptick in my weekly recaps of the television show The Bachelorette .Thursday is structured similarly to Wednesday but covers YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and one platform I’ve never heard of called StumbleUpon (a bookmarking social media tool).
The Friday chapter is all about content curation which Nick Smith defines as:
“When a publisher collects the best content related to a very specific niche and targeted to a particular audience then embellishes that content through the addition of personal expertise and opinion. This embellished content provides increased value to that particular audience who reads it once it is published.”
While I don’t agree with his use of the word “embellish”, I think what the author was trying to say here is more along the lines of “jazz it up!”. He also focuses on the importance of original content.
Alas we come to the end: Saturday. This section is all about measuring and monitoring. Aside from the ‘in a week’ aspect, this chapter was the reason I ultimately picked this book over a few other options as I’m a complete novice when it comes to SEO and social media metrics. Realistically, the topic is so large that an entire book could (and has been ) written about it; however, Successful Social Media Marketing focuses almost entirely on the ‘monitoring’ aspect and just briefly touches on the ‘measuring’ aspect. I was hoping for something more in-depth in regards to different tools for measuring social media campaigns. The author provides some basic tips such as following industry thought leaders on Twitter, incorporating ‘share’ tools to one’s blog and joining LinkedIn Groups that are pertinent to your niche. After reading this chapter I incorporated some additional share tools to my personal blog posts including Pinterest and Reddit, where previously I had only included Facebook and Twitter options.
Each chapter ends with a ‘Fact-Check’ multiple choice test that reviews the learning and key points in the previous chapter; as well, each new chapter begins with a recap of the previous days/chapters and acts as a checkpoint of sort – here is what you’ve learned so far and this is what you will learn today. The style of the book worked well for me (I love a good recap), but from a design perspective it is devoid of infographics and images, which may not work for the more visual learners out there.
I would recommend this book for a new-to-intermediate user of social media marketing as it does provide a great general overview of the topic and some extremely helpful tips. You can definitely learn quite a bit about social media marketing in one week. Ideally, a bit more time could have been spent on metrics but, as mentioned above, I recognize that the topic could fill an entire book. As touched upon above, the author also has a book in the series titled Successful SEO and Search Marketing. I am strongly considering picking that book up to further my learning. I would also have appreciated a few more case studies or examples and perhaps a short section on Facebook’s pay-to-play model. This book would also be useful as a companion to an introductory social media marketing course.