“How To NOT Suck at Social Media” Notes

“How to NOT Suck at Social Media: A Beginner’s Guide for Businesses”

Malcolm McCutcheon’s book offers an extremely basic reading on how to use the world of social media.  It almost seems like a manual, rather than a full-out book, as it seems to teach readers the bare minimum when regarding the different platforms.  As a user, I flew through much of the book, since most of the content is common sense, and can be easily learned from going reading blogs and going to the sites, themselves.  I’m pretty sure the target audience would find the book helpful though, if they’ve truly never step foot into the, sometimes, overwhelming social media world.

  • Emphasizes that many business suck at social media because they don’t make their accounts personable
  • Many business rely on automated messages, and don’t offer real insight or details into the company’s heart
  • Social media is not simply a marketing channel, but rather a place to build personal relationships with consumers and followers
  • Explains how social media has existed for quite a long time (AOL chat rooms, forums, etc.)


  1. To not suck
  2. To engage with your current and prospective customers*
  3. To build your “tribe”
  4. To, network

Goal 1: Don’t Suck

  • Social is all about building relationships
  • Have a dialogue with you followers like they are actual people
  • Social media isn’t an optional place for brands anymore

Goal 2: Engage with your current and prospective

  • “The general rule of thumb is to treat the person on the social media channel as you would when you meet a new person in real life.” (Loc. 233)
  • Say something to consumers that benefits them

Goal 3: “Tribe”

  • Refers to the amount of people that follow you
  • States how we should be the “popular kid”
  • Having many friends and acquaintances is important in the business world
  • Less-self centered
  • Always take the time to like posts, retweet, and reply
  • Take genuine interest in consumers that choose to follow you

Goal 4: Network

  • Must create genuine small-talk and discussion
  • Networking will ultimately make or break a business


  • Facebook Pages, Twitter, Google+, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Yelp, etc
  • Offers directions on how to sign up for various social media channels
  • Most mundane part of the book
  • Should delve deeper into how to properly harness these platforms
  • Self-branding would add significantly to this particular section

Key Tactics:

  1. Separate you, the person from you, the business/blogger
  2. Never use the hard-sell
  3. Show interest in your followers
  4. Bring value to your followers
  5. Share just a little bit of you, the person

Overall, McCutcheon’s book proves useful to consumers who haven’t applied themselves to social media.  However, his points could be furthered and even complicated by some of the semester readings.  The reading on MicroCelebrity challenges his idea that social media users should only sometimes offer details of their life or business.  Also, his ideas about building relationships could be emphasized through content on strong and weak ties.



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