Posts, pokes, pins, pluses, and tweets. Oh my!
If you are like most businesspeople, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the technology, language, and culture of social media. What should you be saying on these platforms? How often should you be interacting? And do you really need to be on every social media platform out there?
With a witty style and no-nonsense attitude, Got Social Mediology? dispels the myths, gives the real scoop, and provides business- people everywhere with all they need to cus- tomize a social media marketing plan that’s right for them.
The book’s approach is simple but revolution- ary: by understanding the psychology of the social media user and focusing on creating au- thentic relationships rather than engaging in paid-for advertising, you will be able to grow your business on social media, far faster than ever before and without emptying your mar- keting budget in the process. That’s good news for business owners everywhere.
Get ready to discover how social media for business can be free, effective, and, yes, even fun!
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About the Author
JAY IZSO, the Internet Doctor, is a psychological business consultant, social mediologist, speaker, and writer who helps entrepreneurs and small businesses reduce their marketing budget and achieve higher ROI by understanding the psychology of their consumer on social media and beyond. He has a Master’s of Science in Experimen- tal Psychology from Washington State Uni- versity and has taught psychology for more than twenty years, including at Washington State University and North Carolina State University. When he’s not busy consulting, engaging on social media, writing, teaching, or speaking, Jay enjoys life as a wine geek, musician, sports fan, and movie buff. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, Linda Craft, and their two dogs, Katie and Bandit.
Read an Excerpt
Got Social Mediology?
Using Psychology to Master Social Media for Your Business Without Spending a Dime
By Jay Izso
InterAction PressCopyright © 2014 Jay Izso
All rights reserved.
Why Are We Here?
How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?
Likes, comments, shares, pins, tweets, updates, +1s, oh my! Whether you have been in business one day or fifty years, you cannot escape social media. Chances are you have a friend, business associate, or employee who talks about social media and raves about how great it is. If this is not enough, you have probably received an e-mail or six about including social media as part of your business marketing plan.
Everywhere you look, social media surrounds you. Turn on the news and it is there as the local newscaster and weather person have this @ symbol in front of their names with a little blue bird indicating that you can follow them on Twitter. Read your favorite newspaper or magazine and you will find a request to "Like us on Facebook" or "Follow us on Twitter," or you will be asked to take a picture of the QR code with your phone to automatically connect with its Facebook page or other social media account. Go to your local restaurant and you will see people with their phones taking pictures of their food and then typing with great fervor something to be sent out to who knows whom through some social media platform.
Is this state of affairs overwhelming? Yes. Is it confusing? It can be. Do you have some emotional reaction when you hear words like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or Pinterest? Sure you do. You may love it or detest it, but very few people feel absolutely neutral about social media.
Without Spending a Dime? Yep, Really
Like most people who are in business, when considering this world of social media, you probably have several questions. Perhaps one is, "What is social media?" Maybe another is, "Why social media?" However, there are two questions that I, as an expert in the field, am asked especially frequently. The first is, "Can social media make money for my business?" The second is related to the first: "How much is this going to cost?" I will answer them in order: "Yes" and "It doesn't have to cost you a physical dime." It may cost a little time (and not as much as you think) but, as we are about to see, to make social media work for your business, you do not have to increase your marketing budget by even a dollar to have a positive effect on your business bottom line.
At this point, you may be saying to yourself, "How is it possible?" First, as of today, you can sign up for all of these social media platforms for free. Second, I will show you that by understanding the psychology of the user and the culture of each platform, you can interact on these platforms in the right way, resulting in new customers bringing actual dollars to your business.
Social media represents a rare, free opportunity available to the entrepreneur and small business owner that can help create a brand, build rapport with a variety of people, establish credibility, demonstrate your knowledge, build trust, and create evangelists that lead to referrals. Today, a business can be built from nothing to successful through these free social media platforms. I am not talking about something that is all that foreign to business. When you are in business, it is not long before you hear the phrase, "You need to network." You probably have attended chamber of commerce events, shown up for a meet-up, or joined a local rotary or business club. Social media is very much the same concept, except you can network from your favorite chair via your computer or tablet or on the go with your smartphone. This amazing world of social media will allow you to connect with more people in a more personal way in less time than you can ever accomplish face-to-face, on the phone, or through an e-mail, with the bonus that you can do it in your pajamas.
What is more, many of these platforms also make available opportunities to keep up with the latest news from your area of expertise. In some cases, these social media platforms are like having free mini-conferences where you can learn how to improve the way you do business and increase your bottom line. However, what is even better, rather than just sitting in an audience of several hundred or a thousand where your voice or question may not be heard, you now have a platform from which you can have your questions answered. Or, perhaps even more powerful, you can establish yourself as the person that has the answers by responding to the questions of others, demonstrating your professional credibility in the view of large audiences. And you didn't even have to pull out your credit card.
What's in This Book for You?
Real questions surround social media. My goal is to answer these questions, in particular, to clarify the value of social media, educate you on how best to use social media for your business, reduce any social media–related stress, and make sense of the mess. How will I do this? First, I want to help you see that social media platforms are not merely tech tools but instead the home of living, breathing, human cultures. Each platform represents a group of people who have come together to create a unique culture with its own language and set of unwritten rules, norms, and expectations.
Second, I will help you understand that these social media platforms are a unique form of media and must be treated differently than traditional media of the past. Until this point in time, the vast majority of media has been unidirectional, going one way. For example, TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines are all forms of media that speak at you, without you being able to speak back. In contrast, social media is bidirectional, with people communicating and speaking to you and you speaking back. Social media is all about interaction, which makes it different from any form of media that has come before it.
Third, I am going to show you some invaluable psychological principles that will make you more effective in social media regardless of your industry, your work role, or your current social media expertise. It's what I call social mediology, the study of social media from the perspective of psychology. The term is further defined as follows:
Social mediology is the study of social media from the perspective of psychology. The focus is on understanding the individuals and groups that make each social media platform a unique culture. Studying, researching, and understanding the behavior of the people that use and interact on these platforms can provide the primary key to success, both personally and commercially, on these platforms.
Using the approach of social mediology, I will teach you that you only need to worry about one person: the user of the platform. If you understand how the user interacts on the platform—how the user typically likes to be approached and the best way to transform him or her from follower, connection, or friend to client—you will be further ahead of the many people who are trying to leverage social media through traditional marketing methods.
To this end, I will help you understand user motivations and how those motivations play a role in what you do. I will take you through a journey of discovery that will help you decipher fact from fiction and put you on the most beneficial and effective path when it comes to mixing social media with business.
Fourth, I will educate you, business owners and entrepreneurs, in a way that will enable you to ask the right questions and to challenge the "experts" and "gurus," so you cannot be duped into spending a great deal of money for a return that does not make your wallet any fatter. I am convinced that by the end of this book, you will have a clearer understanding of social media that will help you make better judgments when it comes to using it.
Finally, throughout this book, I will offer you practical and effective ways to interact on social media platforms—without spending a physical dollar—that will benefit you, your business, and those you interact with both personally and professionally. That's the fun of social media—you can grow your business, help others, and enjoy the ride along the way.
Does Social Media Really Matter?
Now that we know who this book is meant to support, let's explore the inevitable question, Does social media really matter? Well, it depends on whom you ask.
A key study conducted by IBM on the value of social media to business points in one direction. In this study, IBM analyzed where the sales came from on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, in 2012. What IBM's researchers found may or may not surprise you. Of all of the online sales that were measured by the IBM Analytics BenchMark Social Summary, social media could be credited with less than half of one percent of sales! In other words, social media efforts by the businesses surveyed appeared to generate very little revenue.
Yet, a look at some of the small businesses around the country points in the other direction.
Jeff Snell, CEO of Enlign Business Brokers, credits winning a multimillion dollar account partly to his LinkedIn presence.
Jen Hankin of Joint Venture Jewelry gets positive feedback from customers who enjoy modeling new products and seeing their photos posted on social media. These same customers tell their friends to check out their photos online, which gets them looking at Joint Venture's products.
Realtor Linda Craft has sold homes to people who walked through her door and shared that they wanted to do business with her because of what she had posted on her personal Facebook page.
Although the IBM study seems pretty damning, it's hard to ignore stories like those recounted above, which remind us that social media can be a free way of creating brand awareness as well as garnering direct and referral business.
What is the truth? Is social media working for businesses today, or is it just a drain of time, energy, and money with very little return? From what I have seen with my clients over the years and in some of the research I explore in this book, it appears that social media can, in fact, be effective—very effective—for businesses. The problem is that many companies are using social media in the wrong ways, focusing on traditional marketing techniques rather than genuine interaction. I have to wonder whether the companies analyzed in the Black Friday report by IBM were among this group that is focusing on doing things the way they always have done them rather than on understanding that social media provides entirely different, human-driven, bidirectional platforms that require marketers to use a different set of principles and to develop a different set of psychological skills.
What we're talking about here is a real problem within the social media marketing world with regard to what is measured and where marketing energy is focused. Likes, endorsements, followers, impressions, and click-throughs: It's not that any of these are bad. The question is, Are they enough? When someone likes your Facebook business page, follows you on Twitter, or endorses your profile on LinkedIn, what does that really mean for your business? Does a like or a follow really put one more dollar in your pocket? How would you know? Does it mean that these individuals are interacting with you or that they will in the future? Does it mean that they will eventually buy from you or tell all their friends about you? The answer is that likes, endorsements, and followers alone mean nothing. It is only when you are out there building on those pieces, creating a real connection with potential clients, that something powerful can happen for your business. That connection begins with having meaningful conversation. And not just a conversation: conversation that's friendly, personal, sometimes fun, and definitely genuine. Notice I did not say promotional or self-promotional. Promotion is part of the old way of marketing for other mediums, and it doesn't have the same positive benefit on social media.
A Radical Shift: From Promotional to Personal
Why does a personal approach work on social media, even for businesses, which are used to being both professional and promotional? We have to understand the reasons why people are on social media in the first place: to engage with others, to be validated for who they are, and to enjoy the resulting positive emotions that lead to a sense of validation. Social media will always be social first and media second.
What is more, if we think about what traditionally makes small business so successful, it is the personal connection that such businesses are able to establish one person at a time. Through that personal connection, individuals learn to know, like, and trust the person behind the business, typically the business owner, and the relationship transforms from a personal relationship to a business relationship. In fact, it almost appears as if they fall in love with the idea of doing business with that person behind the business, and their loyalty is such that they wouldn't dream of doing business with anyone else. They go from being a consumer, or even a customer, to a coveted client. What's the difference? Although these are not the strict business definitions of consumer, customer, and client, I differentiate them on the basis of my practical observations of the behavior of each. First, customers come and go; maybe they buy, perhaps they do not. Consumers are in the market to buy, but they do not always buy from you. Clients buy from you, return to buy more, and tell their friends to do the same. Jackpot!
Let's look at that "know, like, and trust" piece more, because it's a theme you're going to hear about throughout this book. Here's how it works: Clients become clients because they trust you and your business. To get their trust, you need those people to actually like you and your business. For people to like you and your business, they have to come to know you. To know you, you must have genuine conversations that move beyond business into the personal. When I trust you as a person, I am far more likely to trust your business. It is obvious, right? If it came down to a comparison of who you would want do business with—a person you trust or a person you do not trust—which one are you going to choose? I think we all know the answer. Trust, then, is at the very heart of the issue. Here is where social media has a tremendous benefit. There is no other place where you can reach more people in the shortest amount of time and develop real relationships than the world of social media.
Although the medium is new, the concept is not. We have been doing business this way for centuries. Our grandparents, great-grandparents, and past generations understood the basic concepts of "know," "like," and "trust." They understood the psychology of business relationships. They understood that to have a thriving business, they had to know things about the people around them. They knew their clients' children, and they knew many of the struggles and triumphs of the people that were doing business with them. Our long line of entrepreneurial relatives knew that if their grocery store, barbershop, dental office, or other such establishment was going to survive, they needed to have a personal relationship with others, because once people trust you, you have a customer for life and positive word of mouth. It was that important.
Now consider the situation today. What is the one advantage that social media can give a business? Social media now gives business owners the opportunity to build personal relationships that transform into business relationships, much as they did for our business forefathers. On social media, you, as a business owner, have the opportunity to develop relationships that focus on knowing people, having them like you, and building trust, so that the clients believe in you and the way you conduct business. What is more, these social media platforms, which have more than a billion people on them, can become an amazing vehicle for word-of-mouth marketing. And word of mouth is free.
As you develop these relationships on these platforms, you and your brand will start to extend way beyond your local store. You and your business will start to inhabit lands you never have considered or dreamed of, simply because friends have friends, followers have followers, and connections have connections. It is amazingly exciting! Social media provides many possibilities.
However, developing these relationships is not always easy. Furthermore, although they may be free monetarily, they do take time. But, in the end, your efforts are worth it for your financial success and your business future. You will discover, as many businesses (including my own!) have found, that these social media personal relationships developed one person at a time are critical to business success. The bottom line: People are on social media to connect with others, not to be sold to. If you respect that reality and play within its cultural norms and guidelines—as a genuine participant, not as a lurker or a promoter or a bloodsucker—you and your business will be rewarded with clients who will buy from you for a lifetime and tell everyone they know that you are someone worthy of doing business with.
Excerpted from Got Social Mediology? by Jay Izso. Copyright © 2014 Jay Izso. Excerpted by permission of InterAction Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Why Are We Here? 1
2 Debunking the Social Media Myths 23
3 Social Mediology 101: Using Psychology to Master Social Media 47
4 Putting LinkedIn to Work for Your Business 69
5 Facebook: Friends that Know You, Like You, and Trust You and Your Business 99
6 Twitter: To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That is the Question 143
7 Exploring Other Frontiers: Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube 171
8 Social Media: ROI or ROLie? 203
9 Managing Social Media: From Chaos to Control 227
10 What's Next? 255
About the Author 291
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Although I've been a pretty big-time participant on social media for several years now, I really enjoyed reading about the psychology... the WHY...behind it all. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or just stepping your toes into the social media stream. This book is a great read!