I was pleased to receive a review copy of Stand Out Social Marketing by Mike Lewis. The full title is: Stand Out Social Marketing: How to Rise Above the Noise, Differentiate Your Brand, and Build an Outstanding Online Presence. It provides “tactics for standing out and drawing positive attention in the already overcrowded social web.” The book provides case studies and interviews of social media leaders on ways that the most powerful brands have succeeded in this area.
Mike is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Awareness, a company I have covered a number of times (see for example, Awareness Provides Social Marketing Automation and Awareness Report on Understanding and Leveraging Social Capital). The book covers several aspects of standing out in the social media world: paying attention, stimulating and engaging in interactions, creating content, developing a distinctive presence, managing the process, creating an audit, and measuring ROI.
As anyone who looks at the Web knows the social media space has gained legitimacy and investments in social media marketing continue to rise every year. That is the good news. The difficulty that this book addresses is how to stand out in a crowded field. We are generating more content every year or two that ever before and much of this is through social media.
While you can buy Twitter followers, and Facebook likes, as well as use other tricks and short cuts for some measures of impact, the meaningful measures cannot be faked but are based on creating good content and promoting it well. You need both sides of that equation and this book is a good primer to be successful at both.
You need to be seen as unique. Then if you are successful, expect to be copied so you need to unique again. You need to be in a constant state of innovation. Mike offers the Levis Friends Facebook Store as an example. Once you enter this online store you get a personalized shopping experience based on the likes and recommendations of friends. They placed a Like button next to the SKU for each item in the store to encourage participation. It is a good idea and I can see how this would work for Facebook addicts. I can imagine that many of the people who flock to Facebook would want to know what jeans their friends like. Personally, I tend to look for bargains but then I also do not spend much time in Facebook. But then 350 million suffer from "Facebook addiction."
Time Magazine named “you” as the person of the year in 2007 put a mirror on the cover. These types of tactics will appeal to those interested in the social mirror. I have to admit that while clothes may not be where I focus, I am intrigued by what people do think in areas of interest to me such as social media or even art.
Each chapter has specific guidelines. For example, there is a detailed set of steps and processes for paying attention to the right things that impact your brand. First, you need to identify where the relevant conversations are happening. Then you need to refine these conversations to see might ones have impact through what Mike calls an “attention matrix.” Third, you need to measure your efforts. Each chapter ends with useful actions and takeaways.
I recommend the book for anyone interested in social media marketing. I would recommend using social media marketing for anyone serious about gaining visibility for their brand, so that casts a wide net for this book.