The good news and bad news about writing for USA Today and being a speaker on the business lecture circuit is that I get a lot of business books sent to me. I get so many in fact that I can’t do them all justice. But every now and then I get a book that I can’t help but pitch.
One such book is 30-Minute Social Media Marketing by Susan Gunelius. We all hear so much about social media these days that sometimes it can be too much. And that is one of the main reason I was happy to find this book in my mail. Instead of being overwhelmed with social media (if you are new to it), or consumed by it (if you are not), this book suggests that you actually can handle it all fairly easily by implementing a daily, 30-minute social media strategy.
Wow. Free to spend time on the rest of your business. How great is that?
The power of social media, as we all know, is that if you do it right, you end up becoming somewhat viral; that is, your tweets are re-tweeted, your e-mail newsletters are forwarded, or people you don’t know "Like" your Facebook page. Your friends, fans, and followers become your virtual army, enlisting people they know in your cause.
And if you can do all that in 30 minutes a day, you are way ahead of the game.
Gunelius breaks down the social media marketing process into four “pillars”, each of which will become part of your daily 30-minute marketing habit:
- Content creation
Let’s look at each a little more closely:
Pillar 1 – Reading and research: “A successful social media campaign starts with research and the research must be ongoing.” In order to be relevant, you must know your industry and be aware of the online content and conversations that are going on around it.
The book suggests that you: consume industry websites and periodicals, blogs, e-books, Twitter feeds, and online videos and podcasts.
Pillar 2 – Create: The book rightly stresses that content is indeed king.
“Success in social media marketing comes from developing online conversations about your business, brand, products, and promotions.” As such, the “cornerstone of any social media marketing strategy is creating amazing content.” That is, “amazing content goes deeper than sharing useful snippets. Amazing content truly adds value to the audience and online conversation.” Your content could be almost anything–blogs, articles, e-Books, videos, podcasts, presentations, etc.
Gunelius offers these sites/tools: Wordpress, Blogger, Live Journal, YouTube, blip.tv, BlogTalkRadio, Flickr, Associated Content and Yelp.
Want to read more on social media marketing? Check these out:
Pillar 3 – Share: There are two forms of sharing when it comes to social media marketing (as opposed to just social media):
- Share the best content you find during your Pillar 1 ongoing research
- Share the great content you create
But as you share, keep our old standby, the 80/20 Rule in mind. Gunelius suggests that you “spend 80 percent of your time on the social Web interacting and 20 percent of your time self-promoting.”
Share using: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and SlideShare.
Pillar 4 – Discuss: What you want to do through all of this research, content creation, and sharing is to create a loyal following and to meet people with whom you can do business that you would not otherwise normally meet. You are not getting thousands of Twitter followers for your ego’s sake, but for your business’ sake.
Share using: LinkedIn groups, Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, Bebo, Xanga, Ning, online forums, etc.
Okay, so once you have the strategy and process down, then it is time to come up with your own 30-minute marketing plan. “Choose a time of day that fits your schedule and then divide that time between creating content, reaching out to new connections, interacting, and so on.” Thus, instead of, say, watching Tweetdeck all day, you will instead use your time more wisely.
Gunelius says your plan might look something like this:
10 minutes - content creation. Create a podcast or “shareworthy blog post that offers tips, help, or expert opinions.”
10 minutes – content sharing: Retweet great tweets. Share on Facebook. Invite someone to write a guest blog on your blog.
Five minutes – connect: Answer questions on LinkedIn, send Facebook friend or like requests, comment on blogs.
Five minutes – discuss and build your community: Create or engage in a Facebook or LinkedIn group, upload a video to YouTube or pictures to Flickr and share them. Join forums or chat in the ones you are part of, put a poll on your website and ask people on Twitter to participate in it.
Hopefully, you found this to be amazing content and, if so, I would be remiss if I didn’t say, Please follow me on Twitter: @SteveStrauss.