4 Quick Tips to Get Your Social Media Team Started

Social media teams are becoming more common according to Exact Target’s State of Marketing 2014 Report.

Out of 2,500 marketers surveyed for their study,  57% of respondents said they have a dedicated team to strategize, execute and steward social media initiatives.

Most brands understand that having a dedicated team is key to social marketing success. It’s also clear from the report that “one-person social media teams” are the most common (probably due to small budgets or lack of buy-in from upper management).

Of course, having a social media team of more than one person would be great. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the budget to make it happen. There are always things you can do to create social media success. However, you also have to adjust your expectations to match the level of investment in your budget and team. Whether your team is comprised of one person or more, here are 4 quick tips to get them started:

#1. Begin with a strategy

Know what you want to accomplish from social media and choose your social networks wisely. Hint: You don’t have to have a presence on ALL social networks just because that’s what everyone is doing. However you do have to be where your customers and your target audience are.

#2. Create a workflow process

Schedule some time each day for routine social media activities (e.g., listening and monitoring, posting updates, networking and so on). The more you repeat these tasks, the better you’ll get at them.

#3. Develop quality content

You’ll need to create original content on a regular basis (e.g., blog posts, images, videos, graphics, etc.). Even with a small budget, you can get other people to create high-quality content for you by using a service like Fiverr. You can also get free images from Flickr, Photopin, or Wikimedia Commons.

#4. Get the word out

Let your co-workers and customers know that you have a Facebook page or a Twitter profile. Encourage them to engage with the company on these channels.

It’s also a good idea to join an online community where you can tactfully get the word out to others (without spamming them). The more value you add to their conversations, the more receptive they will be to discovering and engaging with your online brand.

What did I miss? What other tips can you share with social media teams that are just starting out?

The Ultimate Guide to Using Twitter For Your Dermatology Practice

Are you interested in learning how to promote your dermatology practice on Twitter?

Compared to other social networks, Twitter is one of the simplest and most straightforward platforms you could ever use. The interface is simple and there are no privacy settings or new changes to deal with every few months.

In fact Twitter is perceived by physicians to be a more relevant platform for medical conversations than say, Facebook. Even with a limitation of 140 characters per tweet, Twitter is a great place for dermatologists to amplify your voice, accrue more influence, and extend your reach simply by leveraging this platform a few minutes each day. Here’s how to get started on Twitter.

Planning Phase

  1. Define your Goals – Decide what you are trying to achieve with Twitter. Your objectives should be specific, timely and measurable e.g. to grow your email list by 10% each month.
  2. Define your target audience – Apart from mere demographics you should have an in-depth understanding of your prospective patients’ health needs, challenges, frustrations, life-style goals and even their content preferences. This knowledge (gained through research) will help you to develop interesting content that draws them to you as a trusted source of relevant content.
  3. Understand how Hashtags work – A hashtag is a word or phrase prefixed by the pound symbol (#) e.g. #melanoma or #acne. It is a form of metadata tag used to group Twitter conversations into specific categories. Hashtags are becoming increasingly popular on Twitter as evidenced by the creation of the Healthcare Hashtag Project.

Create Your Account

  1. Create a Twitter account using the name of your business domain e.g. if your domain is skindoctor.com, your Twitter profile should be @skindoctor.
  2. Write up a short bio or description of your profile using keywords that are both ‘Google-friendly’ and consistent with your practice e.g. skin care, etc.
  3. Include your location
  4. Add a link to your website
  5. Upload a logo or photo that is consistent with the branding of your practice
  6. Include an appealing Twitter background that complements your branding

Develop Your Tactics

  1. Follow selectively – focus on people and brands that add value to your business. Use tools such as Twellow or Tweepi to help you find relevant followers on Twitter.
  2. Use Twitter lists – A twitter list is a curated group of Twitter users that is based on specific characteristics. You may create your own list or subscribe to lists created by others. Here’s a step-by-step guide for using Twitter lists.
  3. Use time saving tools – Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer are complementary to Twitter because they help you manage your account and save time.
  4. Budget your time – allocate about 30 minutes each day to Twitter marketing. Within that time use your favorite tool (see #3) to schedule tweets, monitor conversations and ‘listen’ to what others are saying about you.
  5. Stay on-topic – It’s easy to get distracted on Twitter if you’re not focused. Stay on topic and ignore any conversations that are irrelevant to your practice. Lists and hashtags are effective in helping you stay on topic.
  6. Engage in conversations with others by asking or answering questions, recognizing and thanking people who share your content and so on.
  7. Add  “Follow me on Twitter” buttons in the top-right corner of your website, newsletter, email signature lines and all other digital marketing properties.
  8. Create great content that engages your target audience. And don’t forget to share other people’s content too, particularly when it is consistent with your own brand’s messaging.

Monitor your Progress

  1. Regularly check your mentions (@mentions) to see what people are saying about you
  2. Use Google analytics to see how much traffic is coming to your website from Twitter.
  3. Learn, Adjust, Repeat – be prepared to experiment with new tactics to learn what works for your practice and what doesn’t. If something isn’t working, be prepared to let it go, modify your strategy and keep testing for new opportunities.

What do you think? Twitter has become quite an impressive platform for promoting healthcare and medical brands. As a dermatologist what has been your experience so far?

6 Ways to Engage Your Patients on Facebook

o you have a Facebook page for your medical practice? Are you looking for fresh ideas to quickly ramp up engagement and participation from your fans?

There are tens of millions of business pages on Facebook. There’re also those notorious, complex algorithms that mysteriously determine what fans can see or not see on their news feed.

Both these factors make it incredibly difficult for page owners like you, to maintain engagement on Facebook. But as a doctor and a business owner you know that Facebook is extremely valuable to your practice.

Here are 6 ways to improve engagement on your page.

1.  Post News articles, stories and current events

As of December 2013, Facebook updated their Newsfeed algorithm with a requirement of ‘high quality content.’ What this means is that Facebook will start to give more visibility to interesting news articles, story links and current events than ever before.

Your response should be to start posting attention-grabbing health articles from news publishers, or compelling stories from your own blog. The goal of course is to create conversation among your fans and clients.

If you can achieve that, your Facebook posts will be bumped higher up on your fans’ news feed and engagement will increase significantly.

2.  Host Video Events

A fun way to increase engagement with fans is by bringing live video events to your Facebook page. You can do this easily by installing a free app such as Livestream, (go to https://apps.facebook.com/livestream/).

The chat feature on Livestream makes it more interactive with your audience. So let’s say you want to introduce a new skin care system. Using the app, you can host an event on your Facebook page to show fans how the program works. They can see you, ask questions, and interact with you right there on your Facebook page!

3.  Offer Contests and Giveaways

Promotions of any kind are fantastic way to increase engagement on Facebook. That’s because everyone loves the opportunity of winning something special.

Use a photo contest app like Strutta that allows fans to upload images. Then encourage them to tell their friends about the contest and open the voting up to everyone who has submitted a photo.

A few things to watch out for when it comes to Facebook contests – follow the rules; keep the contest requirements simple; and offer a special prize that’s relevant to your practice.

4. Games

If you want to improve engagement on your page without spending a ton of money, then social games are one way to go. Social games on Facebook can spur comments, likes and shares and also help to build a community around your page.

The important thing is to choose a game that is consistent with your brand and that your fans will enjoy. For example the “Tell a Story” game is a good one for dermatology pages.

The game is similar to those books you read that let you choose what happens next. It is also appropriate since you can co-create a story with your Facebook fans thus making them the ‘stars of the show’ .” Here’s one version of the game.

Simply create a graphic that shares the first sentence of a story like this: “Once upon a time a young lady called Celia woke up on her wedding day to find a huge zit on her face!”

Then right below the story opener, write down the instructions for participating in the game as follows:

  • What happens next?
  • To participate, simply write the next sentence in a comment below.
  • Make sure you read the comments above yours so you know where the story is leading.
  • Share the story thread with your friends to keep things moving
  • Let’s see where this goes!

5.  Recognize your fans

Your Facebook fans like to know that you appreciate them. Every so often get into the habit of recognizing them for various reasons e.g. birthdays, ‘fan of the week,’ and so on.

If you want to be a little creative you might even consider posting a fan’s picture on your page (with permission of course!) and featuring them for a week. During that time, you can highlight something new about them, or let them give tips and advice about skin care!

 6.  Be Personal

Last but not least, people like to know that they’re interacting with a person, not a business. So when you post an update on Facebook, sign off with your first name so your fans and clients know whom they’re talking to. That way, the next time they stop by your office they’ll know exactly how to carry on the conversation with that person. In the same way, address them individually as “you” and “your” rather than using a plural salutation.

Creating engagement on your Facebook page doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. With some imagination you can use any one of these ideas (or come up with your own) to encourage participation from your fans so they’ll see more of your posts on their news feed.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these ideas on your page? What other ideas have worked for you?

How Marketers Are Using Social Media for Business in 2012 [Infographic]

Every year, Michael Stelzner and the diligent folks at Social Media Examiner prepare a social media marketing industry report that shows how marketers are using social media to promote their businesses.

If you’re doing social media for yourself or for clients, this 42-page report is one that you absolutely need to download and study.

You will want to examine all the research and charts and discover some of the ‘not-so-obvious’ findings that are contained in the report.

I created an infographic to give you a little glimpse of the actual report. Remember, this is just a tiny sliver of the valuable information contained in the report so do yourself a big favor and go to Social Media Examiner to download the real thing!

Borrowed Relevance: How to Engage Your Audience When You Have a Boring Brand

“There are two kinds of brands – brands that people talk about and brands that people don’t talk about.” ~ Josh Bernoff, Forrester Research Analyst and co-author of Groundswell.

Sexy brands (Apple, Facebook, and Harley Davidson) are ‘talked about’ brands – they sell themselves. Boring brands are tough because people don’t care about them. Marketers of such brands have to figure out how to get people talking about something they really don’t care about.

Is there a way around this?

The answer is “Yes!’ Borrowed relevance is a fairly new concept proposed by Josh Bernoff, in which he suggests that boring brands must encourage people to talk about something – even though the conversation is not about the brand itself.

There are several ways to do this:

  • One way is to identify your organization’s core values and then start a conversation about them. Those values might be community, work-life balance, diversity or empowerment. Liberty Mutual (from the boring category of insurance) launched the Responsibility Project as “the place to discuss doing the right thing.” By creating a platform where moral decision-making was the trending topic , Liberty Mutual shrouded themselves in relevance and (more importantly) social conversation.
  • Another way is to invite your community to talk about their own set of circumstances. Johnson & Johnson for example created a Facebook page for mothers with ADHD kids. They figured that they couldn’t spark an engaging conversation about their ADHD drug. But they correctly concluded that sufferers of the ailment (and their families) have their own set of interesting problems and why not talk about that? Their Facebook audience is a whopping 19,000 fans strong!
  • The other way that ‘borrowed relevance’ could be applied is to start a conversation about an entirely different brand with the intention of ‘borrowing’ some of their appeal for yourself. In 2007 Doritos invited customers to create their own Superbowl ads –  Turns out, that Superbowl (or any ad contest for that matter) are more exciting concepts than corn chips.

So if you’re a business that’s selling a product that doesn’t generate much interest, then the key is to borrow something that is relevant to people (topic, issue or concept), create a platform to discuss it while treading lightly on your own branding. This way, you will be able to identify your own (few) brand enthusiasts who will become very influential in spreading the word about your organization.

6 Must-Have Blogging Tools to Boost Your Productivity

Are you looking for ways to enhance your blogging process?

Do you need some tools to help you stay productive?

Here are six tools that could make your life easier and faster.

#1. Trello

Trello is pretty neat. It is a project management platform that allows users to work on a project from different locations. It provides an interface that can be accessed by all members of a team so that they may complete tasks. It is especially useful for virtual team collaboration.

If you manage a multi-author blog, you can use Trello to assign blog projects to your writers, keep track of everyone’s progress, and communicate instructions or due dates.  Trello comes with boards, cards, lists and labels to maximize communication and productivity.

#2. Dropbox

Dropbox allows you to easily share files between different computers and devices (iPhones, iPads, laptops, and desktops) while integrating seamlessly with Windows and other platforms on your device. If you work with other writers you can easily share files with one another without having to email them back and forth thus wasting precious bandwidth.

What makes this an awesome tool is that your Dropbox account automatically syncs with all your other devices. So if you were to save a file on your desktop at work, it would be accessible from your laptop at home or on your iPhone on your way to work. It is secure and all your files are backed up online where any user can access them on their device just by logging in.

#3. Buffer

As a blogger you rely heavily on Twitter to broadcast your blog posts, share great content and network with peers. But this takes a lot of time, which you don’t have especially if you manage several Twitter accounts.

Buffer app not only allows you to schedule your tweets in advance, but to do so for each account that you manage. Even better Buffer offers many extensions, apps and extras that allow you to schedule and share content on different platforms, devices, and browsers e.g. Chrome, FireFox and Safari; on Facebook and Twitter; from Google Reader or on your smartphone and more!

#4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that helps you to manage all your social media accounts from one central location.

It provides a user-friendly interface that displays all of your social profiles (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)  in an organized way so that you can manage your posts, updates and direct messages more efficiently, in real time.

Instead of having all your social media accounts open at once trying to navigate back and forth, Hootsuite allows you to view and update them all in one place. This certainly qualifies as efficient and productive.

#5. Evernote

Ever forget something cool or important that you came across during the day that you wish you could remember?

Well Evernote is here to help. Evernote is a tool that allows you to save  and store any information you come across online at any time. It is compatible with your smartphone, tablet and computer so when you see something interesting and you don’t have time to read it you can save it on your phone and read it later that day.

As a blogging tool Evernote can be used for managing and sharing your editorial calendar, for storing and syncing your ideas for articles, for storing all elements of your articles (i.e. images, links, keywords, tags, etc.) and more.

#6. Join.me

Join.me is one of the cooler apps in this list. It allows up to ten users to share screens (and even share control of other users’ screens!) while chatting or talking online.

When you type “join.me” in a new browser, a small screen appears prompting you to either share your screen or view someone else’s screen. The prompts are easy to follow and you’re able to join others or have them join you on your screen.

This is a great tool for demonstrating tasks that are difficult to explain verbally. Just remember to log out when you’re done because other users can see everything that’s on your screen as long as you’re logged on. It is simple, practical and easy to understand.

5 Twitter Tips for Medical Professionals

Twitter. It’s a great tool for social media marketing if you know how to use it. But medical professionals and doctors may be resistant to using Twitter for a variety of reasons.

One is that they really don’t have the time to sit behind a computer desk and ‘tweet’ when they have real patients to take care of. Another reason doctors might resist Twitter is that it appears to be too disorganized, unstructured, and difficult to monitor.

But doctors who are expert Twitter-users will tell you that Twitter is worth taking the time to figure out especially because of its potent ability to amplify your voice above and beyond your current audience.

Here are 5 tips to help you start tweeting successfully:

#1. Be the expert that you are

As a medical professional, you have to be careful about the content that you share. Never, ever post any kind of patient information. Remember that Twitter is a public site and everything you share will leave a permanent trace on Google. Offer your expert knowledge and information that interests your target audience. Also be sure to provide relevant links to posts and articles that are pertinent to your work. Educate!

#2. Know your audience

Are you a pediatrician? Understand that your audience is comprised mostly of parents with young children and also other doctors or students with related interests. Once you understand who your audience is, then share with them information that helps and educates them.

#3. Keep it simple

Speak to the everyday person. Don’t use medical jargon and big words on Twitter. A new mom may not know the jargon that you know and might quickly tune out or lose interest in your message. By using vocabulary that most people understand you can reach a larger audience.

#4. Be relevant

Make sure your posts provide interesting and valuable information to your followers. They will appreciate your efforts and retweet your posts. This is an important step in building your community. By providing significant information to your target audience your followers will suggest your Twitter feed to other people with similar interests.

#5. Reach out to other professionals

Follow other healthcare professionals with similar audiences. Share information and possibly work together on creating educational articles. Retweet their information, and they will retweet yours. But be aware that Twitter can be a time-waster if you don’t know what you’re doing. So be sure to follow only those who add value to your work and feel free to ignore all others.

Key Takeaway

Twitter may seem to be an overwhelming and unstructured environment when you first start out. With time and patience you will discover that it is one of the best ecosystems on the Internet to discover and interact with interesting people in your field, as well as to amplify your own voice and reach a much bigger audience than you would have otherwise. For doctors, it is a great place to educate and share important information with your community.

Over to you: What kind of content do you usually share on Twitter?

9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Content Marketing Consultant

Hiring the right content marketing consultant is a significant business decision. Ideally you want someone with whom you will enjoy a great working relationship, but you also want to make sure that the person has experience, vision and business knowledge.

Here are 9 questions to ask yourself when vetting your potential hire.

#1. How much content marketing experience do they have?

To be a consultant of anything, you need a set amount of experience. But with content marketing, the concept, the talent, and the technology are all new (even though the practice of telling stories to promote a business is not).

If you consider that veteran content marketers have been at it for about 10 to 12 years now, that means the majority of consultants have much, much less than that. It’s important to keep this in mind as you decide whether you will hire based on experience.

#2. Do they understand the basics of content marketing?

Even more important than experience (I think) is the understanding of what content marketing is. Most organizations are still confused by the term, so it is even more important that the consultant is able to educate authoritatively on this subject. For instance they should know the difference between content marketing and social media, or similar subjects such as inbound marketing, and digital marketing.

#3. Do they understand the business value of content marketing?

Your potential consultant should also understand that content marketing is business marketing. She should be able to connect the dots between the creation and distribution of relevant content with the achievement of tangible business goals such as customer acquisition and retention, increased sales, reduced marketing costs and even operational efficiencies.

#4. What type of content marketing campaigns have they initiated in the past?

You want to see what kind of content marketing projects your potential consultant has done in the past so that you can evaluate her effectiveness as a professional. Her portfolio is a good indicator of where her core strengths lie and whether her past experience is a good match for your organization’s needs.

#5. How much do they value measurement of content marketing strategy?

The old adage ‘what can’t be measured, can’t be managed’ rings true for content marketing as well. A consultant who neglects measurement tactics cannot be trusted to steer you in the right direction. Find out what methods she has employed in the past for measuring content marketing and watch out for ambiguous answers as these spell major weaknesses in her strategy.

#6. Does their personality match your needs?

People do business with those they know, like and trust. Spend some time getting to know your potential consultant and dig deeper by asking questions that reveal her personality. Ask her how she would handle specific situations. Remember that a consultant is responsible for guiding your business. Be sure that you choose someone you can trust, respect and generally feel comfortable with.

#7. Do you have a common connection or referral?

How did you connect with your potential hire? It’s a wise idea to choose someone who has been recommended by a friend or peer. This way you can find out more information from the one who referred her, and cross-check the information that she has given you about herself.

#8. Do they use content marketing themselves?

The seller has to believe in the product they are selling. So when choosing a content marketing consultant, be sure to check that she is practicing content marketing herself. Does she have a consistent blog, does she send out a regular newsletter, does she use social media, what kind of online communities does she belong to? Remember, consultants are business owners too and they should practice what they preach.

#9. What’s your gut feeling?

After all is said and done, what is your gut feeling about this person? Does she make you feel uncomfortable? Do you trust her? If something doesn’t feel right, your best bet is to ditch her and start over. Trust your intuition to guide your decision and try not to second-guess yourself.

Over to you: I feel like I’ve missed something. What other questions would you add to this list?

12 Ways to Achieve Online Influence With or Without Klout

I recently read Mark Schaefer’s new book ‘Return on Influence,’ which in a nut shell talks about ‘personal power’ and influence on the social web.

So if you have a social media account, your value and relevance on social channels is constantly being judged and evaluated by Klout. I cannot begin to tell you how distasteful that thought is to me personally.

But in today’s post, I’m not going to persuade you to become a Klout-hater like me. I simply wish to suggest to you that there are ways (good old fashioned ones for that matter!) to achieve online influence whether Klout says so or not. Here are 12 of them:

Online influence is achieved through quality content and conversations

What are your thoughts? Have I completely missed the point? Feel free to educate me!

Can Social Media Actually Make You Money [Book Review]

If you’ve ever asked the question, “Can I make money with social media?“, you might have heard a variety of answers such as, “No!”, “Maybe” or “It depends.”

Rarely (if at all) have you heard the confident and unwavering response, “Yes, you can!

In their book, How to Make Money with Social Media—An Insider’s Guide on Using New and Emerging Media to Grow Your Business, Jamie Turner and Reshma Shah explain that there’s a big difference between people who make money with social media and people who don’t.

People who fail to make money with social media are those who never get their planoff the ground. They’re the ones who (among other things):

  • Don’t know how to set up a landing page
  • Don’t remarket to “customer prospects”
  • Don’t know how to turn a social media campaign into a sales campaign
  • Think they can do social media in ten minutes a day
  • Sit on the sidelines
  • And other faux pas

But people who make money are different. They set objectivescreate a plan and execute the plan relentlessly.

And that’s what this book is all about—The Plan. You’ve heard the old adage, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.” Well it’s true. And to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you, the authors provide a thorough, “no-wiggle-room” roadmap that willput you on the path to social media success.

Here’s what you should know about the book.

Authors’ Purpose

The goal of the authors is to teach you some innovative ways of using social media, in order to generate real revenue and profits for you and your company.

Jamie Turner

Reshma Shah

In this book, Jamie Turner and Reshma Shah explain that by following “the roadmap,” you can use social media effectively to grow your business and make money as well.

So whether you’re a small business owner, a regular business-to-business company or you run a huge division at a large global organization, the authors provide a practical plan to help you set up, launch and run a money-making social media campaign that will work specifically for you.

What to Expect

How to make money with social media

At 275 pagesthis book is not meant to be read cover-to-cover in one sitting. It’s much too extensive for that. Fortunately it’s an easy read, has many interesting examples and lots of bullet points, and is therefore very skimmable.

The book starts with a brief history lesson on what advertising and marketing looked like before the Internet. It goes on to talk about how things have changed and where social media is going to take us in the future.

But the core of the book is literally a roadmap that starts by laying the groundwork for success, and on to measuring the only really important thing – money!

Also notable, toward the end of the book is a checklist of 59 things you need to doon your way to a successful social media campaign.

Some of the more interesting ideas that the authors introduce are:

  1. How to tell if your brand is a social media magnet
  2. How to use circular momentum to build your brand
  3. How to conduct a social media competitive assessment
  4. How to build new relationships with customers using augmented reality
  5. How to use different social media platforms to network, promote and share(they’re not the same!): Facebook is like a pub, LinkedIn is like a trade show,Twitter is like a cocktail party, YouTube is like Times Square on New Year’s Eve, MySpace is like Woodstock, and perhaps in their next edition, the authors will give us an analogy for Google+.

Key Highlights

For the most part, this book is rather elementary. But don’t write it off altogether, even if you’re a social media pro. There’s still a good chance that you might learn one or two cool things such as:

#1: How to Tell if Your Brand is a Social Media Magnet

social media magnet is a brand that people want to be associated with. Big brands such as Nike, Apple and Harley-Davidson have no problem there.

The first step to acquiring social media magnetism is to use traditional media to drive people to your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn pages.

This Smirnoff ad prompts viewers to check out their Facebook page.

If you’re a small and underfunded brand, you’ll probably lean heavily on word-of-mouth marketing to promote your social media profiles.

The authors suggest that you ask yourself the following questions to figure out if your brand is a social media magnet:

  • Do people wear your logo on their sweatshirts?
  • Do people put bumper stickers with your logo on their cars?
  • Do people wear hats with your logo on them?

Obviously the vast majority of small business brands will answer “no” to most, if not all three, questions and the authors know this.

Their intention in asking these “trick questions” is not to shame you or make you feel like a loser, but to make the case that social media is about running a successful business, not about being social. They want you to know that by applying the lessons you learn from their book, you too will be on your way to running a successful business.

#2: How to Think About Social Media

Some people use social media platforms as if they were all exactly the same. What they need to know is that each platform is different and should be approached in a completely unique way.

Facebook is a casual space (like a pub), LinkedIn is a space where you talk strictly business (tradeshow), Twitter is a noisy place where you share helpful links to position you as an expert (cocktail party), YouTube is packed with people clamoring for attention (Times Square on New Year’s Eve) and MySpace… well, that’s history unless you’re a musician.

On LinkedIn, it’s important to focus on networking and to carry out professional conversations.

Your job is to review the parallels among these platforms and their analogies(i.e., pub, cocktail party, tradeshow and so forth), and share those parallels with people in your office so that they can get comfortable and figure out how to use each individual platform. Visit other people’s social media pages to see what they’re doing on their various platforms.

Also when reviewing the different platforms, keep in mind that some of them help you to network (LinkedIn), others help you to promote your brand (Facebook) and others help you to share content (Twitter and YouTube).

#3: How to Create Circular Momentum

Turner and Shah suggest that we’re all connected through six degrees of separation.

What that means in business parlance is that your product is linked to a lot more people than those who’ve had direct contact with it. So if people have had a negative experience with your brand, then word will get out very, very fast! This is calledcircular momentum.

Now, if you can create positive experiences for people using your social media channels, you’ll be able to leverage circular momentum to bring about a great outcome.

Equifax, for example, is a very conservative company. They realized the benefit in allowing fans to vent their frustrations on their Facebook page. After they vent, customers feel much better and Equifax then uses this opportunity to provide support and encouragement. As a result, their customer retention rates have improved by a huge margin, thus justifying their social media efforts.

#4: How to Use Augmented Reality to Generate Business Leads

Augmented reality (AR) is a phrase used to describe a direct or indirect view of the physical, real-world environment through a computer-generated sensory experience. Companies can use AR technology to build new relationships with customers and to persuade prospects.

Side note: You might have experimented with some AR apps on your iPhone; e.g., WorkSnug to identify nearby wi-fi hotspots, DishPointer if you’re into cabling and CarFinder if you can’t remember where you parked the car!

Businesses are also using AR in very interesting and innovative ways. IKEA in Germany for example uses AR to get prospects to try out new furniture right from their homes. Prospects can simply aim their web cam at the current furniture in their living room to see a stylish new piece of IKEA furniture superimposed over their old couch! Just think of how often you could virtually redecorate your house!

This video clip shows how IKEA uses augmented reality to get more customers:

#5: How to Conduct a Social Media Competitive Assessment for Your Business

You’re already familiar with how competition in business works. In the last few years, for example, we’ve seen Amazon grab the lion’s share of the book market, as Barnes & Noble and Borders battled each other for physical retail dominance. What they didn’t realize is that competitive shortsightedness can actually render a business extinct, as Borders later found out.

Today your competition is not just your direct competition, it is actually anyone who competes for your customers’ disposable income—more so now because of social media and the universal competition for consumers’ attention.

This makes social media competitive assessment very challenging.

At the very least, you want to figure out how your competitors are using social media so that you can analyze how to compete against them.

However, you might also want to deliberately place yourself on the competitive grid as far away from them as possible. So if your nearest competitor has hired a specialist to manage his social media networks on a frequent basis, you might decide that you’re only interested in a few channels, say only blogs, and that you will be relentless in that one area.

Personal Impressions

I don’t like the title, How to Make Money with Social Media. It sounds like a scam, and in any case the book doesn’t live up to it. However, the subtitle, An Insider’s Guide on Using New and Emerging Media to Grow Your Business, is a lot more accurate.

I also thought the book was rather elementary. Save for a few novel ideas, it might not be very interesting to the experienced social media marketer. Also, most case studies used are big-name companies. Small businesses will have a tough time relating with Coca Cola, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, IKEA, Colgate Palmolive and other industry giants.

That said, if there’s one social media book that executives and senior managers should read, it is this one. I believe they will be drawn to its interpretation of social media from a commercial perspective, and how social media activities tie to the bottom line.

This book serves as an important reminder that social media is only a means to an end to generate value for your organization. Ultimately you want to set up a social media campaign that is designed to make money. Everything else is just a stop along the way.

Social Media Examiner gives the book a 3.0 star rating.