The Best Social Media Manual… Ever! A Book Review of David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR

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The_New_Rules_of_Marketing_and_PR_250“What’s the best book I should read to get started with this whole ‘social media’ thing?” When I asked my good friend @mikefixs this question last year, he strongly suggested I read David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR, originally published in 2007 with an updated paperback published in 2009. This may represent one of the best pieces of advice on the subject I’ve ever received.

Why?

To begin, just take a look at the author’s subtitle: “How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly.” What else can I say except, “It works.”

Here’s how.

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The Snow Monster Returns: Buffalo Bills, Undefeated for the Decade!

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Bills_Game_Close_Up_300Should I stay home or should I go?

With red letter snow warnings, ominous travel advisories and a plethora of church service cancellations, the question wavered annoyingly in my own mind and unspoken on my worried wife’s barely wakened lips.

Should I stay or should I go?

The last game of the season. A meaningless game. Against a team that expects to bench most of its starting players. The beleaguered Buffalo Bills, banished for the past decade to the Siberia of no-playoffs, have done little to earn back the loyalty of staunch fans since the heresy of hiring Tom Donahoe. Why should any humble fan place their body in harm’s way, especially when the kind Gods of Time-Warner decided to sell-out the game (the only way they could then broadcast it to local viewers).

Should I stay or should I go?

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Six Things I Discovered From My Twitter Experiment

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3251106353_5e938c592f_o_Twitter_Logo_Bug-Eyed_Bird_250Have you ever read a book that offered a great idea and wondered if it really worked? That’s precisely what I felt after I read Twitter Power by @Joel Comm (here’s the book review). In the book the author outlines a 30-day plan for “dominating Twitter.” So from November 14, 2009 through December 13, 2009 I conducted an experiment. In the process, I discovered these six critical facts about my Twitter use. Has your own Twitter experience revealed similar eye-openers?

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Day 18 – December 1, 2009 (Tue): Start Putting Your Tweets Together

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 108 Followers: 94 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet

twitter_power_joel_comm_150This Twitter Churn and Burn Hypothesis seems to have some legs. It makes me think a lot of folks waste a lot of time on Twitter. Why else would they follow and unfollow in less than 24 hours? I can almost understand the marketers doing this with all their fancy machines. But regular folks? And, especially, non-profits? @BPOrchestra, out of the blue, followed me. Since I feel I belong in their target market, I followed back. Then they unfollowed me. Go figure. So I asked them why with an “@” question. They haven’t updated their tweets in a while so I might not hear from them until tomorrow. But, instead of worrying about my followers – or unfollowers as the case may be – on this day I learn I should worry about my own motives.

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Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 107 Followers: 88 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 16 – November 29, 2009 (Sun): Post a Discussion Tweet

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Today’s the first day I’ve been really disappointed with this experiment. Although I admit I’ve been busy this weekend, I didn’t totally ignore Twitter. I followed a number of folks back. I did continue to do as Joel Comm suggested and I even got a big bounce in activity on my blog – at least as judged by Google Analytics.

But, given all that, I wake up this morning to find only two more followers. I’m beginning to formulate a hypothesis. I’ll call it the “Twitter Churn and Burn Hypothesis.” Here’s how it works:

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Day 15 – November 28, 2009 (Sat): Post a Link Tweet

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 98 Followers: 77 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 14 – November 27, 2009 (Fri): Do Some Customer Service

twitter_power_joel_comm_150To be honest, I’ve been posting links for awhile. But I did one again, first thing in the morning. I posted a link to this experiment and the Survey Monkey survey. I can’t say anyone responded to the former. I can definitively say no one responded to the latter. Well, at least I can so nobody voted.

Then I left the Twitterverse to work on the final script for the AstronomyTop100.com official Top Ten Countdown Awards Show scheduled for this coming Friday night. As a result, I didn’t do much to add to the experiment. I did accelerate the experiment through “off-Twitter” marketing by creating a discussion in a couple of LinkedIn groups I belong to.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 16 – November 29, 2009 (Sun): Post a Discussion Tweet

Day 1 – November 14, 2009 (Sat): Sign Up and Settle In

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 0 Followers: 0 Listed: 0

What’s this all about?

Here’s what I did. I actually tried to start a new Twitter using my name. “ChristopherCarosa” had too many characters, so I had to go with “ChrisCarosa” as my username. Having read Joel Comm’s book Twitter Power, I carefully filled out all my profile information.

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Name: Chris Carosa

For my name, I kept “Chris Carosa” just to avoid confusing people. As far as I tell in my internet search, Of all the three-hundred thousand Americans, only three of them can be called “Chris Carosa.” I met the other two – when I was a kid. One is another “Christopher” and the other is a “Christine.” They don’t appear to reside on Twitter.

Location: Mendon, New York

Now the location caused me to think a bit. Most web surfers will have never heard of my town. Still, I am proud of my municipality, having once (hopefully ably) served on its Town Board, so I thought I’d identify it. Furthermore, I figured, since I had the room anyway, I’d spell out the full name of the state. I never served in any elective office for New York State (which probably explains why I still have friends), but I nonetheless have an affinity for the Empire State.

Web: http://chriscarosa.com

It turns out this Twitter username limit helped me avoid a major mistake. My web-site (which I added to Twitter) is “ChrisCarosa.com” and if I had used my full name, my Twitter User Name would not have matched my web-site name. Bewilderment averted.

Bio: Author, speaker, entrepreneur who likes connecting with family, friends and the future and loves Western New York.

My one-line bio proved a bit of a challenge. I’m used to a standard elevator pitch for my business, but this Twitter account isn’t about my business. In fact, being in a highly regulated industry, I’m bending over backward to separate my business activities from my social media activities. So I used a variation on a theme (specifically, Joel Comm’s theme of three). It started as a three and three – what I am and who I want to connect to. I added the “and loves Western New York” when I realized searchers might not know Mendon exists in that region of the state.

Lastly, I added the account to TweetDeck and CoTweet (but not SocialOomph, which I’m determining whether I should continue using.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 2 – November 15, 2009 (Sun): Create Your Background Image

Great Idea. Great Design. But Will It Fly?

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twitter_power_joel_comm_150I’ve got this great idea. Joel Comm outlines a 30-day plan for “dominating Twitter” in his book Twitter Power (here’s the book review). Wouldn’t it offer a great experiment to actually follow his plan for thirty days, blog it live and see what happens. Well, that’s precisely what I intend to share with you.

Does Joel Comm’s 30-day plan really work? Or, was it merely a hook his publisher wanted him to use to bait readers into buying the book? All those with the slightest bit of scientific curiosity will want to know.

My prediction: I’m a skeptic. If I get 100 followers I’ll be happy but not impressed. If I get 1,000 followers I’ll be impressed but not sold. If I get 10,000 followers, not only will I be sold, but I’m sure Joel Comm will sell a heck of a lot more books (and much, much more).

Here’s Day 1 – November 14, 2009 (Sat): Sign Up and Settle In

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Get It While It’s Hot! – A Review of Joel Comm’s twitter power

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twitter_power_joel_comm_250There’s nothing like piping hot pizza right out of the oven. The juicy smell of the tangy tomato sauce makes your mouth melt, while the tasty texture of the toppings delightfully dissolve as they pass through your smacking lips. Yep. There’s nothing like a piping hot pizza right out of the oven.

So it is with twitter power, Joel Comm’s aptly named best-selling guide to all things Twitter. It’s hot. It’s less than a year old. And it’s fast going out of date. Still, it delivers beyond what it promises and you simply must read it if you’re about to embark on a journey through Twitterville. How do I know this?

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A Spoonful of MSG – A Review of Seth Godin’s Tribes

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Somewhere in the middle of Tribes, Seth Godin writes of the blog msg150.com (under the heading “Three Hungry Men and a Tribe,” pages 62-63 in my 2008 Portfolio (Penguin Group) 10th edition). As the author puts it, “This blog is obsessively chronicling every restaurant in a sixteen-block square of Seattle.” Leaving aside the unnecessary use of the passive, let’s focus on the meat of this particular reference. It turns out, most of the restaurants covered by msg150.com carry Asian cuisine. And you know what they say: Chinese food fills you up quickly, but, a half hour later, you’re hungry again.”

I can think of no better epitaph for the book Tribes, the eleventh book by the bestselling author of Purple Cow and The Dip.

Tribes CoverNow, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to disparage the book. Far from it. I consider Tribes a must read for reasons I hope to make clear. More to the point, I’m not going to begrudge someone born five days before me, possibly even in the same hospital. Quite simply, I’m merely going to follow his instructions (“Fear of Failure is Overrated,” pp 46-48) and offer some constructive criticism.

First, if you’re new to the whole Web 2.0 and social media thing, Tribes represents perhaps the easiest entrée into the embracing concept behind this innovative world. It’s easy to read. I finished it in just a few hours despite the many interruptions and distractions of a relatively free Saturday (let’s see, that would include one Boy Scout Training class, Saturday Mass and my daughter’s high school drama production). The book contains very little jargon – or at least very little of the kind of jargon that might scare neophytes away.

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