Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: 3 Reasons to Grab Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich's latest book, Spin Sucks - Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age just hit the shelves. And I've bundled up my review into "Z's Threes" which are the three reasons I think you should pick this book up or download it. 

Z's Threes

#1 - Spin Sucks shares the What, Why, and How of Strategic Communications

You'll find this book indispensable because it explains exactly what you need to do to build strategic communications programs that withstand constant industry changes and then steps you through real case studies and maps out step-by-step how-to tactics. Gini Dietrich, with her storytelling expertise, leads you through the marathon mentality needed to combat the industry trend toward short-term, sprint-focused, and game-the-system one-off tactics that cause more harm than good for your brand. And fear not, Gini provides plenty of examples of said failed communication snafus. 

#2 Case Studies which illustrate Gini's themes and highlight that Spin really does Suck.

Spin Sucks is the right blend of strategic insight, B2B and B2C case studies (some old with a deeper dive, some fresh off the presses), and roll-up-your-sleeves-let's-do-this tactics starting in Chapter One with the ingredients of a great brand story. Throughout the book, Gini explains that the secret sauce of your communication plan is that there is no secret sauce. It takes time to develop your reputation and establish trust. My favorite quote in the book is, "Great companies don't lie. They don't steal. They don't cheat their employees. They don't become greedy. They don't allow people to behave badly just because that generates a lot of revenue. Great companies stop and listen to criticism. They commit to getting better, they set goals and a vision larger than themselves, and they truly behave better. When all of that happens, the storytelling is easy." Now, that doesn't suck.

#3 - This is a Quick Read...(distilled like the gin that both Gini and I love) and a Quick Buy Bonus 

And speaking of storytelling, it's a quick PR playbook read in a storytelling format that truly keeps you engaged with the 140 vibe that my digital colleagues will appreciate. You'll keep Spin Sucks handy as a go-to communications resource. If you buy the book before Saturday, April 5 email Gini a copy of your receipt, you will receive $200 worth of free content.

Ok, so what did I not like? There wasn't much. Chapter One was a slow start for me. I think it probably has to do with the bit of PR background I have and that I used to live social media 24/7/365 so it didn't strike me as fresh. That said, from Chapter Two on, I found piping hot fresh nuggets throughout.

Disclosure: I am part of the Spin Sucks book ambassador program and was offered an advance digital copy for review.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Register Now for Social Media Marketing World

Join me and 2000 of your industry peers in San Diego on Wednesday, March 28 through Friday, March 30 for Social Media Marketing World (SMMW). 

Why go?

I'm going because several of my industry friends went to SMMW last year and they told me this is THE must-attend social media marketing conference. They shared that the networking and the content are unrivaled. I can not wait!

With over 80 sessions, there's so many great topics to choose from with a host of diverse speakers, and one of my favorites - Customer Advocacy through Customer Service and Social Media Marketing - is what my panel is covering on Thursday at 10:30a. Here's the details:

Social Care: How Social Media Marketing and Customer Service Form a Winning Team By Zena Weist with Dan Gingiss (Discover), Michelle Lapierre (Marriott) and Becky Carroll (PriceWaterhouseCooper)

Topic: Social Care
Social Strategy

Room: Gaslamp

Please comment below or tweet me with any questions you'd like me to ask Dan, Michelle and Becky. 

Hope to see you in sunny San Diego in a few weeks!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review: Jim Tobin’s Earn It. Don’t Buy It.

Thought-provoking Challenge to Standard Social Media Marketing Practices from Jim Tobin, a Proven Industry Doer

Jim has provided a solid background and game plan for integrating social media marketing into your overall business plan in his second social media marketing book, Earn It. Don’t Buy It. The CMO's Guide To Social Media Marketing In A Post Facebook World. It is truly a refreshing and realistic social media marketing guide on a subject that typically gets a lot of echo chamber love especially when it comes to platforms.

He provides solid use cases on why earned media – not paid - has to be the underlying foundation for your online initiatives. Jim’s quote which is woven through every page - “We can’t buy trust, we need to earn it” – is crystallized in Chapter 3 which is aptly named "Organic Impressions Drive Better Business Results." In this chapter, Jim talks about the Momentum Effect which is the joy of discovery pared up with the strong compelling feeling to share your discovery with others. In the past week, I know we have all gotten our Momentum Effect on with the urge to share something we have come across online -  2014 trend nugget,  a funny holiday video, or the coolest 2013 recap infographic - with our social networks. It's just how we are wired. 

And Jim isn't a paid ad hater, no, no, no how can he be? - he runs a social media agency after all! In all seriousness,  Jim does provide rationale that shows that the collective we (those doing social media marketing) are focused too much on paid advertising. He thinks our paid, earned and owned mix needs a re-mix. So what's the re-mix recipe?

He explains the why and the how through – my fave - ROI modules in Chapter 6 including formulas (there's a handy downloadable spreadsheet) and sprinkles in large and small brand case studies to illustrate his key points. Here's the six models Jim has identified:

The Six Models of Social Media Marketing:
  1. The Amplification Model: how much would it cost to buy these impressions/social actions through paid media?
  2. Value of Social Traffic versus Display: how much does it cost to get a visitor to your site via social promotions versus display advertising?
  3. Quality of Visitors from Social Media: how well do the visitors being driven to a site via social media perform?
  4. Revenue from Facebook Fans Model: how much incremental revenue do Facebook fans generate?
  5. Revenue from Social Media Marketing: how many sales can be attributed to your social media marketing programs?
  6. Social Promotions Sales ROI: how many sales can be attributed to a special social media marketing promotion?
I think choosing a model above, which aligns with the brand's business goals, is a great start for any organization looking to begin measuring bottom line impacts of their social media marketing initiatives.

Heads up on Earn It – it isn’t a quick read, it’s more of a workbook. Think Harvard Business Journal case study not Mashable trending story. This is a get-out-your-highlighter-and-keep-this book-within-reach social media marketing resource!
Disclosure: Ignite Social Media is a partner of Expion and Jim Tobin gave me a copy of his book to review.

This article originally posted on Expion blog.