Following up on my “Top 15 Social Media Books of 2009” blog post as well as my recent review of “A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization by Deltina Hay,” I want to cover another book which I thought was one of the best social media-related books of 2009: “The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web” by Tamar Weinberg.
The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web Summary
This book begins with handholding the reader from an introduction to social media marketing to helping you formulate goals, strategize, and participate in the social web. From there the conversation turns to reviewing the standard blogging, Twitter, and social networking sites Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. There is a chapter that provides some unique content on using Q&A sites and wikis that is thrown in before the book concludes with chapters on social bookmarking, social news (think Digg), and photo/video/podcasting before the final and concluding chapter of the book. The scope is what one would expect from a social media marketing book, and at 300+ pages there is a lot of content covered. The differentiator of this book is, as the titles suggests, the focus on “community.” Furthermore, while the mechanics of what you need to do to succeed in marketing on the social web are also covered, many different and insightful aspects of social media marketing are discussed throughout the book.
Tamar Weinberg Author Summary
Tamar is an Internet marketing consultant who clearly understands social media. She is an avid blogger herself, is very active on most of the social web platforms that she describes, and is experienced in social media consulting as displayed through case studies of her own experiences that she shares in the book. As someone who has hands-on experience with social media marketing functions such as blogger outreach and viral marketing, Tamar gives us a convincing read on the ins and outs of marketing on the social web. And the fact that she is the Community and Marketing Manager for Mashable is a reminder of her credentials to be a reliable and trusted source.
My Top Ten Takeaways from This Book
1) Setting Social Media Goals
I appreciate how Tamar goes through various goals of a social media campaign in the beginning of the book to give the reader some ideas of how social media marketing can be utilized in their company. These potential goals include increased traffic, increased brand awareness, improved search engine rankings, reputation management, increased sales, and established thought leadership. Furthermore, Tamar follows up these goals with example social media marketing scenarios to further help the reader paint a picture of how they could utilize social media. Any reader who wasn’t sure how they could use social media will have a great idea after reading these sections.
2) Participation is Marketing
I enjoyed this chapter, which begins with a look at “The Cluetrain Manifesto” and the theory of markets being conversations that was created well before the birth of the major social networking sites that we use today. Tamar includes a plethora of case studies from companies like Graco and Home Depot here to drive home her point. If you haven’t read The Cluetrain Manifesto, you will definitely want to buy a copy after reading this chapter!
3) The History of Blogs
We often talk about the power of blogs, but understanding the history of blogs as Tamar paints the picture gives the reader a more convincing understanding of the power of blogs as well as why they are influential. Insightful read.
4) Content Strategies for Bloggers
As a blogger myself, I appreciated the advice that Tamar gave on how to find inspirational content from a variety of sources. Everything from Google Alerts, other blogs, blog searching, social bookmarking, new stories, and Google Trends and Insights is covered here. No more excuses for lack of content to blog about after reading this chapter!!!!
5) How Blogs are Discovered
Sure, Google will find your blog once you create and submit an XML sitemap, but how can your blog get more easily discovered by others? Tamar provides us with a good list of blog directories as well as some other ideas for us to consider including blog carnivals and memes. Basic content, but surprisingly these topics are not covered that often in the blogosphere.
6) Tools of the Twitter Trade
As you know from my recent blog post on “Stop Fondling the Hammer,” I try not to dwell too much on the huge variety of social media tools that exist out there. That being said, I was extremely impressed with the through listing and description of tens of Twitter tools that Tamar includes in her book. These tools include those to spot Twitter trends, personal statistics, finding new people to follow, follower management, and searching. I am certain that there are a few Twitter tools in here that you might have never heard of before!
7) The Ins & Outs of Social Bookmarking
Tamar has some great advice and tips for using both StumbleUpon as well as Delicious as part of your social media marketing strategy. The tag-centric approach that Tamar presents was insightful, and her description of how Delicious aids in understanding your brand was the best post on Delicious that I have ever read. Just as I wrote that StumbleUpon was not just for SEO, Tamar gives us some compelling arguments of the why and how we should be using Delicious.
Everything You Need to Know about Flickr
Photo sharing can be a powerful form of social media marketing that can help build awareness for your product. Tamar’s chapter dealing with the most popular photo sharing site, Flickr, is quite comprehensive, dealing with everything from tagging your photos, community forums, a good explanation of Creative Commons, and some advice on “marketing” your photos on Flickr. Not only is the information comprehensive, Tamar writes in a way that handholds the reader beginning with the actual uploading of your first photo.
9) YouTube Marketing and Beyond
In a similar vein to the information on Flickr, there is generous information included in the book on not just the mechanics of YouTube but also excellent advice on how to get the most out of YouTube, including vital information on promoting your YouTube videos. Tamar also doesn’t stop with just YouTube and gives suggestions for other video-sharing sites that the reader might be interested in.
10) Return on Social Media Investment
Tamar begins her book speaking to how the reader should start thinking about return on investment of social media activity. She cleverly returns to this topic at the end to finish her book, taking a closer look at metrics such as reach, frequency and traffic, influence, conversions and transactions, and sustainability. But she doesn’t stop there. Reminding the reader that social media requires a commitment, Tamar concludes the book with powerful reminders about community, face-to-face interactions, and fostering creativity.
The New Community Rules provides an excellent combination of hands-on instruction combined with putting social media marketing in the context of the community. The breadth and depth is what one would expect from a book on social media marketing, and the advice given by someone who is a veteran of the scene backed-up by many real-life examples makes this book both a powerful and convincing read. Whether you are just starting out in marketing on the social web or you’re looking to get to the next level, this book is a highly recommended read and filled with a plethora of helpful tips and advice.