“How to Not Suck at Social Media” Notes

“How to Not Suck at Social Media” Notes


Purpose: To give instructions and rules to small businesses about how to best use social media for business purposes.

Audience: seems to be for an older generation and/or people who don’t use social networking sites for their personal use.  People who are not familiar with the Internet and SNSs.  Topics discussed in the book were more instructional and basic.  This book wouldn’t be very helpful to someone in our generation because the steps would seem obvious.

  • Goals
    • To not suck
      • Ways to not suck: remember that social media networks are for networking, not marketing.  This is reinforced by tips such as do not send out automatic direct messages to every new follower on offers or deals for your company.
      • Relates to second goal of interacting with customers. If you’re sending out the exact same message to everyone, you aren’t likely engaging with your customers on a level you are likely to connect with them on.
      • In his first goal he discusses the importance of social media for brands.  Social media is important because even if you aren’t on social media, customers will write their opinions on your company on social media. This relates back to the idea in Banet-Weiser’s reading about branding.  “The truth is, if you don’t brand yourself, someone else will, and it probably won’t be the brand you had in mind” (Catherine Kaputa).  McCutcheon understood this idea as the reason being on social media is important.
    • To engage with your current and prospective customers
      • Customers are “anyone that you want to be interested in your business, your cause, or your blog. “ He also talks about how relationships built online are different from those built in a store.  Instead of treating your customers like they are shoppers, “you’re going to treat them like friends”.  This shows difference between online and offline customer/business relationships.
    • To build your “tribe
    • To network, damnit!
  • Set Up: Instructions on setting up SNS accounts
    • These instructions could be found easily on the websites (not so helpful). Leads us to believe the book was written for older people who are not familiar with the internet and social networking sites.  People who don’t use social network sites for their personal use.
    • Talks about creating a consistent username across all social media sites.  Relates back to the idea of a pseudonym but for a business instead.  Makes it easier for users to find you on different SNSs.
  • Key Tactics
    • Separate you, the person from you, the business/blogger
      • Talks about creating separate social network sites for your business and your personal.  Relates back to context collapse. To avoid context collapse, separate personal and business accounts.  He advises not to post about your business too much on your personal social network sites, and to not post about your personal life too much on your business social network sites. This is because you want to “remain a neutral entity that is friends with as many people as possible, regardless of their beliefs…” Goes back to the context collapse strategy of tweeting to the “lowest common denominator” and tweeting neutral (I Tweet Honestly, Marwick & Boyd page 122)
    • Never use the hard-sell
    • Show interest in your followers
    • Bring value to your followers
    • Share just a little bit of you, the person
      • He also says it’s a good idea to give glimpses of “the person behind the keyboard” which helps with relationship building.  This tactic of inserting something more personal every once in a while is like the “authenticity” taste statement described in the Liu reading
    • Post frequently, but don’t overdo it

Personal Opinion: Would have been more helpful if it talked more about building your brand on social media rather than instructions on how to set up the social media accounts.

Class Concepts:

  • Branding (Banet-Weiser)
  • Context Collapse/Lowest Common Denominator (Marwick & Boyd)
  • Authenticity (Liu)

One comment

  1. […] brand. Courtney (@cyan539) also helped me in furthering my idea when bringing up the point in her notes that no matter what “customers will write their opinions on your company on social media.” So […]

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