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5.0 out of 5 stars Rainbows & Unicorns - Waking Up to REAL Social Media, August 23, 2011
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This review is from: Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas (Hardcover)
OK, as a social media maven for... well, since the word was invented, I figured Dan's read would be perfect yawn material for curing my fractured sleep cycle.

Not so. In fact, I should have known better. Anything stamped "Domino Project" is almost a sure bet. This is no exception.

Here's the intro paragraph to help align your brain to the following content:
"If you've read about social media or been to any marketing conferences, you've probably heard tons of advice like "love your customers," "engage in the conversation," "be yourself," and "make friends." I call this "unicorns-and-rainbows advice." Sure, it sounds good and it probably makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. But it's not actually based on anything more substantial than "truthiness" and guesswork."

But wait, it gets better.

In addressing the Spread of Ideas (or Viralness, the favorite meme of social media marketers everywhere), Dan developed a simple hierarchy, similar to Maslow:

1- "The person must be exposed to your content. This means that the person has to be following you on Twitter, be a fan of your page on Facebook, subscribe to your email list, and so on.
2- The person must become aware of your specific piece of content (the idea you want to spread). He has to read your tweet or open your email message.
3- The person must be motivated by something (generally in the content itself) in order to want to share the idea with his contacts.

Now, at this point you're going "Isn't this Seth Godin's Idea Virus all over again?"

Well yes. And no. Because quite a few years have elapsed. What worked then (Seth giving away a PDF to drive book sales at, uh, Borders...;-) could be construed as noise now. Unless you've been busy building an audience and a platform - which is the REAL focus of the book.

Oh, and metrics. METRICS. Measuring social media results is something Dan doesn't take lightly. And neither should you.

There are graphs. There are charts. And there are meaningful baselines to work from. The pie is not in the sky. It's on your (social media marketing) plate. Get your slice.

Here's one of Dan's finishing thoughts:
"Now you know better. You know how to see through the unicorns-and-rainbows myths. Don't listen to the snake-oil salesmen when they deceive you with their prescriptions for exotic tonics. You have science now. Marketing shouldn't be based on luck. You can produce results from social media that are reliable and repeatable. You have control.

For social media experts, there will be some "duh" level content. But even so, it's sprinkled liberally with plenty of new "a-HA!" insights to make even those boring old standards take on new color.

I'm giving it 5-Stars. Not because it's Seth's label. (Though I long to be on Domino... someday... someday...).
Because it's relevant. Fast-acting (read it before your next marketing meeting - and rock the house). Fun. And makes sense.

BTW: Hubspot is also a cool company. Dharmesh Shah and Mike Volpe are awesome folks in the industry, who don't compromise. And have set new standards (if you haven't used their Website Grader, do it today. It's free, and will get you started on the road to REAL online optimization - we're just pissed they give it away - we wanted to sell a similar service for $$$).

Other people in this genre' worth watching include David Meerman Scott (one of my very favorites). Start here: The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly - all of his works are excellent. You can also get a taste on his blog,

Chris Brogan is legend: The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue

Ann Handley rocks - Total Stat Queen: Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)

To craft your own social media goodness, here's the writing tool of champions (includes social media keyword search results and other fun tools): Novel Writing Software - ThoughtOffice Muse Creative Writing Software Suite Mac OSX - Windows XP-7

If you don't know Guy Kawasaki, you're clinically dead. Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

And nothing is sweeter than making your social media efforts into your passionate living. Nobody says it better than Hugh MacLeod: Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination

That's a rap, folks. Get social. Measure results. Build your platform. Engage. And have a blast on the way.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 23, 2011 12:57:35 PM PDT
You never fail to impress me, Mark. Thank you for this great review.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2011 1:14:51 PM PDT
Heaven forbid I'd let down the Big Brains of Austin...
P.S. WebNutrients on their way...
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