Social Media Marketing comes down to 2 things

I finished reading the book World Wide Rave by David Meerman Scott. I thought it was OK. I’ll explain the problem with these kinds of books at the end.

While I was reading it I came to the conclusion that success at social media marketing and having your business idea spread virally comes down to two main factors: creativity and understanding the tools that the internet provides. You may have a good understanding of how to use all the internet tools: blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Squidoo, ebooks, monitoring your brand using Tweet Scan, Google Alerts, Boardtracker, Social Mention, trying to build competitions, interactive tools, applications, widgets; but if you don’t have something creative that’s worth spreading it won’t spread. The creative content part is harder than the tools part.

One way to start getting creative is to put your message in terms of the need that your business solves. Scott says:

By truly understanding the market problems that your products and services solve for your buyer personas, you transform your marketing from mere product-specific, egocentric gobbledygook that only you understand and care about into valuable information people are eager to consume and that they use to make the choice to do business with your organization.

Once you’ve gotten down to the needs that your product fulfills, then you can start trying to come up with creative ideas around communicating your solution to that need. After that there is not much advice one can give on how to be creative. I guess you could try brainstorming ideas. Another good idea in the book is to try lots of things in hopes that at least one of them sticks.

Many attempts will be duds that won’t spark any interest; a few will generate some notice and basically pay back your investment of the time required to make them; and a handful will spread to thousands or even millions of people and make the entire program of 10 or 20 initiatives worthwhile.

Realistically I think you’re more likely to make a hit if you try 50 to 100 initiatives.

So there’s the problem with most of these internet marketing books; they can’t explain to you how to creatively use the tools that the internet provides to spread your message. They can only show you the successful ideas other people have had. That’s the hardest part and only you can figure it out.

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