Enchanting Lawyer’s Review of Mark Schaefer’s Social Media Explained: Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend
OUR SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR THE MARK SCHAEFER PODCAST IS STILL GOING ON BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER. Find out more about the book Social Media Explained giveaway here or scroll to the bottom of this blog post. Thank you for your participation!
Thank you Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer, for writing a short and sweet one.
All half-joking aside, Mark Schaefer’s latest social media installment, Social Media Explained: Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend, is an information-packed survival guide for all the social media specialists who struggle with making void attempts at trying to explain the concept to their bosses – who just do not get it, and to all the bosses who have always thought a social media specialist is someone fresh out of college and is on their phone all the time. One book, two birds.
More importantly, you could literally cut out parts of the book, such as the parts where Schaefer depicts how to measure the ROI of social media, the questions you need to ask yourself as a leader along the way, how to foresee progress, and exactly what you need to do. These fundamental but integral bullet points can be organized into a booklet, and there, you just got your company a comprehensive social media game plan. Did I mention there was a list of questions for leaders to ask themselves at the end of every chapter to help you gather your thoughts?
(if you still don’t have time to read the book, at least read this synthesized book review)
I had the privilege to speak with Mark and recorded a podcast with him. In case you missed it, you can listen or watch the priceless interview here.
(Social Media Explained Table of Contents from book preview on Amazon)
We all know that newspaper advertising revenue and subscription rates are dropping. Television viewing has been on a slippery slop as well. As Schaefer states, more surprisingly, even companies’ official websites have less visitors. These traditional media outlets’ upward mobility is greatly hindered by the uprising social media stars. Schaefer compares the concept of social media to the first medieval marketplaces of Europe and finds a number of similarities: 1. They are both highly personal and interactive; 2. There is immediacy; 3. Success depends on word of mouth recommendations; 4. There a primal need to connect. The reason why social media is soaring right now is because people still want person-to-person, accessible, and humanized selling/buying experience. Ultimately, through these interactions with customers online, we can achieve brand loyalty.
Social media is the only “form of marketing that can touch customers at each and every stage in the buying process, from when they’re comparing products right through the period after a purchase. And, their experience with a brand and potential advocacy influences others. Increasingly, social media content is also being used to reward and nurture established customers.” This passage resonates so much with my own philosophy: The most loyal and rewarding clients I have received are the ones that have been following me on Facebook for more than six months. The long-term social relationships depend upon nurturing, just like real-life friendship scenarios. It really is that simple.
The Social Media Mindset
If you are a leader who has never officially executed any social media strategies before and you suddenly decide on a Monday morning to allocate two of your marketing people to manage a Facebook page, I suggest you flip to pages 25 to 26 now and read them carefully for three times.
Schaefer points out: “…you must have realistic expectations about what can actually be accomplished through your company’s social media audience” in the hopes of building “loyalty and engagement over time…with the keyword being ‘time’.” With this “good things come to those who wait” ideology, leaders must ponder over the ways to differentiate themselves from competitors who are targeting the same demographics: Am I presenting something refreshing? Am I exhibiting our unique corporate culture for the public to see? Besides posting about press releases and the recent awards we received, could I be altruistic and share our slide presentations, case studies, or instructional videos with followers as well as competitors?
I have to point out one quality/recommendation all of Enchanting Lawyer’s previous featured guests have, including James Altucher, Jay Baer, Gary Vaynerchuk, and now Mark Schaefer, is helpfulness. I really like how on pages 30 and 54 Schaefer lists the speaking, workshop, intangible but lucrative opportunities and outcome from being helpful and generous. One simple example would be: Mark Schaefer agreed to be on my podcast without strings attached and dedicated his time to my gains selflessly. In return, I was more than happy to review his book, promote the hell out of it, and give away 100 copies to my podcast listeners to benefit more people.
Speaking of intangible, many may ask: “How about ROI?” This is possibly one of the most valuable sections of the book, in which Mark Schaefer lays out 25 well-founded and logical perks of company blogging (you can substitute “blogging” with any other means of communication). These “qualitative benefits” include, just to name a few: better SEO, humanizing the brand, and showing a sign of activity.
All the lawyers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and people wishing they had 30 hours a day, Social Media Explained is a forthright and plainspoken guide, which you can enjoy and digest in one sitting. It’s social media notions simplified for beginners, and theories proven and experimented by a true professional for the more advanced readers. At the end of the book, Schaefer finishes with his well-thought-out perspective on every thriving form of social media, like podcasting, blogging, and all social networking sites. Strategies that actually worked for his company and results reflected in numbers are revealed throughout the book.
Mark Schaefer says you can read it in 90 minutes. I say: It’s a well-crafted book that should be in every marketing consultant’s back pocket, so give it the time it rightfully deserves!