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"Going Social is a book that any social media marketing practitioner worth their salt should take a look at." —Young Upstarts
"Going Social is a book you have to own if social media marketing is part of your strategy." —Small Business Trends
"Get this book if you have anything to do with social media in your professional or personal life." —OfficePro
Social Marketing: Even More Important Than You Think
AVINASH KAUSHIK, Analytics Evangelist at Google, famously said: “Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it’s finally done there is surprise it’s not better.”1
In a similar vein, many business owners see social marketing as something that will change their businesses fortunes forever and perhaps overnight. However, they don’t know what they’re doing a and they don’t get the results they expected.
If you’re reading this book, you’ve most likely realized how important it is for your business to use social marketing effectively.
You’re probably also aware of how much the Internet is used for social marketing: socializing and sharing information. To drive that point home, the story of a solitary man walking on the side of a highway off-ramp in central Ohio offers a good example of how quickly things spread on the Internet.
The man is named Ted Williams, and, for quite some time now a he’s been panhandling by the exit of I-71 that leads onto Hudson
Street in Columbus. Thousands of people drive past him each day a presumably paying him no attention. True, data aren’t available on this, but it seems unlikely that many people mention to their friends that they saw a panhandler as they exited the highway.
All of that changed in the first week of 2011. The Columbus
Dispatch posted a short video of an interview with Williams a dubbing his voice “golden” for its perfect, radio-quality pitch. The video was ripped from the newspaper’s website and posted on
YouTube by a Good Samaritan, along with the following brief message:
“Throwing this video from The Columbus Dispatch out there a hoping we can find this talent a place to call home.”
Soon the sheer oddity of a bedraggled man speaking in such a clear a voiceover-quality tone touched a nerve with a number of people a who forwarded it to their social networks. Within hours, Williams had job offers. Mind you, he hadn’t applied for these jobs through
LinkedIn or CareerBuilder; these employers contacted him after hearing his voice via YouTube forwarding. They also weren’t momand-pop businesses; some of these offers came from the Cleveland
Cavaliers and the National Football League. Williams ultimately accepted an offer to be the new voice of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.
Humans Beings Are Social
Within just a few hours of birth, newborns try to imitate the facial gestures of the first people they meet—an early attempt to socially interact. Humans have such a need to be social that we’re social even when we’re still inside our mothers’ wombs. Researchers recently used ultrasound to record the interactions of twins and found that the twosomes were reaching out for one another at 14
weeks of age. That means people have a propensity toward social action, which is already present before birth. “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior,” says Umberto
Castiello of the University of Padova, one of the researchers who led the study. “When the context enables it, as in the case of twin pregnancies, social movements, i.e., movements specifically aimed at another individual, are observed well before birth.”
Given how social we are, it makes sense that people will find ways to “bake” social features into new technologies. In fact, there’s been a tremendous paradigm shift in the last few years, in that the fastest growing and most influential digital companies are the ones that create websites and applications that are more people-centric a such as Facebook, rather than technology-centric or algorithm-centric a such as Google. As a matter of fact, companies like Google are moving more toward people-centric models with social channels like Google+, as we’ll discuss later. We are moving into a world where we will be able to bring our online identities and networks with us wherever we go.
The human need for social interaction is more important than the need for material goods and monetary wealth. Don’t believe that? Think about the foundation on which a site like Facebook is built. On social networking sites, the users create the vast majority of content, which in turn is monetized by the company owning the social network. The hottest web properties are nearly entirely comprised of things that users contribute for free. Take YouTube as an example: On average, 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute;
every week, users upload the equivalent of 240,000 feature-length films. It would take you approximately eight years to view all the content that gets uploaded on any given day.4
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and similar sites are social hubs a and our need to be social runs pretty deep. To survive, people require food, shelter, and clothing at a minimum. Once people have those things, the next thing they typically desire is to be able to socially connect with others. Paul Cohen, founder of Cog -
nection, has built a business around human social behavior, and he has found that humans are hardwired to be social: It’s helpful for us to keep track of whom we’re indebted to and whom we should probably delete from our iPhone’s address book. “If you look at social networking based on its ability to enable reciprocity, it makes complete sense that we want to engage in prosocial behaviors,”
Paul explains. “It makes it easier for us to transmit social signals that allow us to reciprocate.”
People want a place to hang out virtually and interact much more than they want to make a quick buck. Does that statement sound outrageous?
Consider the following: In an effort to attract users away from Google and Yahoo, Microsoft offered cash rewards so that customers would run searches on its Bing search engine. When users shopped online using Bing, Microsoft sent users refunds of as much as 50 percent of their purchase.5 When Bing started aggressively offering this feature, its market share was 8 percent, compared with
Yahoo’s 20 percent and Google’s 65 percent.6 By most accounts, Bing
Rewards helped contribute to Bing’s growth; it reached 12 percent of the U.S. market by December 2010. Yet during that time, its growth was far outpaced by the top social networks. In 2010, Facebook grew
48 percent in the United States, with many emerging countries growing at even faster rates.7 In 2010 alone, Twitter opened up more than
100 million accounts.8 The desire to socialize and make meaningful connections with friends and strangers online is outpacing the need to search, even when incentives such as refunds are thrown in. People are apparently more interested in socializing than in making a dollar for searching for fleece penguin pajamas on Bing.
1. Social Marketing: Even More Important Than You Think
2. Devising Your Strategy and Getting Started
3. Engagement 101: Determine Your Voice and Personality
4. How to Develop Content That Promotes Engagement
5. Become Truly Customer-Centric—and Reap the Advantages
6. How to Avoid Pitfalls, Deal with Crises, and Keep Your Brand’s Reputation Intact
7. How to Staff Your Social Team and Organize for More Effective Engagement
8. Tools for Producing More Relevant, Targeted Engagement
9. How to Identify Influencers, Work with VIPs, and Grow Word of Mouth Substantially
10. How to Build Strong Relationships with Bloggers and Work with Online Personalities
11. Increase Engagement by Turning Your Employees into Marketers
12. How to Engage with ROI in Mind
13. Going Social in Real Life
14. Final Word