Review Notes for How To NOT Suck At Social Media

Notes for How To Not Suck At Social Media – A Beginner’s Guide for Businesses

– Book’s purpose — to educate people about the best and most effective ways to use social media to promote their businesses, companies, or professional blogs

– Main goals of the book: 

1.  Don’t Suck

2.  Engage with your current and prospective customers

                 —treat the person you’re engaging with in a friendly manner 

3.  Build your “tribe”
                 —Like, RT, comment posts, etc.
                 —“Be the popular kid”
4. Network, damnit!
                 —Make small talk and be engaging

– Key tactics:

  1. Separate you the person, from you the business or 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
  6. Post frequently, but don’t overdue it

– Author employs Baym’s concept of social construction of technology

  • McCutcheon argues that how we use SM for our businesses can shape expectations and assumptions about professional social media use
  • He also believes that the users of the technologies have the power to determine how others will use them and how use can then vary in the future

– Audience of the book = small business owners or new professionals

  • Though the book might have some advice that would be helpful to larger businesses, the social media use of large corporations probably would not effect them to that great of a degree
  • McCutcheon is probably targeting smaller local or online businesses because social media use could really enhance their sales and reach, and there is a potential for increased profitability

– Course concepts applied

  • utilizing weak ties — grooming/maintaining social ties to keep potential customers interested in your business
  • creating a stable and authentic narrative across all your social media platforms—- people need to know what your business is about—which needs to be similar on all different SM sites
  • self-branding – involves using multiple SM sites; again, consistency throughout
  • performativity — front stage and back stage regions—-always be very conscious (front stage) but showcase a bit of your personality and show a little bit of the backstage region so people can relate to you on a person level
  • immaterial labor (specifically affective labor)—> try to produce affects in your followers so that they become customers —> creating friendships or relationships with potential clients might make them want to purchase your product




  1. […] worthy concept that the author could expand on is discussed in Aimee212’s notes. People who are new to social media may not want to invest the time into this medium because there […]

  2. […] initiatives that involve the actions of customers, which can become a type of immaterial labor. Aimee discusses the importance of such immaterial labor in the digital economy in her notes with the […]

  3. […] our group came to an agreement that McCutcheon goes about the social constructionist approach. As Aimee best puts it, “McCutcheon argues that how we use SM for our businesses can shape expectations […]

  4. […] Another example where some research in social media strategies might help McCutcheon is with his references to one’s “tribe.” According to the writer, “tribe” referes to “the amount of people you have an influence on across social media channels.” Personally I have never heard of this term “tribe” in regards to social media and I think what McCutcheon is truly trying to address here are social ties. In her article, “Social Networks and Internet Connectivity Effects,” Caroline Haythornwaite introduces us to the different types of social ties we come across. We have strong, weak, and latent ties with others.  To put it simply, strong ties are “best friends” on social media. Weak ties would be someone who simply shares a class with you. Latent ties are relationships yet to be built. While latent and weak ties have somewhere to grow to, strong social ties are ideal, especially for business. McCutheon urges his reader to build one’s tribe, in other words build strong ties online. He urges the reader to “take a genuine interest in the people that choose to follow you.” Haythornwaite seems to agree with this statement. She writes, “Overall we find that, when asked, online participants themselves report strongly held, close ties with others that are as important to them as any offline tie” (Haythornwaite 136). Agreeing with McCutcheon, this explains that a strong online presence is equal to, and can even benefit, a strong offline relationship.  (This is something fellow groupIV member aimee212 points out in her book review notes.) […]

  5. […] of technology, where tyn205 believes him to be taking a social shaping approach, I, like aimee212 believe he is taking a Social Construction approach (SCOT).  This is because his whole book […]

  6. […] and a social shaping perspective.  As Aimee states in her post, McCutcheon goes on about  we “can shape expectations and assumptions about professional social media use” through the… However, those who see his approach as more of social shaping are also correct because in a way, […]

  7. […] Aimee and Michelle make strong arguments for why the book fits into a social construction mindset, I like […]

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