Book Review: The New Community Rules, Marketing On The Social Web

Posted on September 18, 2009. Filed under: Best practices, Books, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There’s debate about whether anyone can be deemed a social media expert because the field is relatively new, and continues to evolve so rapidly, that it’s too soon for anyone to claim that label.

Well, if you go by what’s currently happening in the social media sphere, Tamar Weinberg is an expert.

Book cover to The New Community Rules:Marketing On The Social Web

Steeped in social media

Weinberg proudly proclaims that she’s “a member of just about every social network that has a name.” Along with being a prolific blogger, she’s the Director of Community for Mashable and is an independent social media consultant.

She’s steeped in social media.

This comes through loud and clear in The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web, where she proffers observations that could only come from someone who understands the real intricacies of scores of social media outlets.

Acute insight

Wienberg’s expertise is trenchant. When discussing the topic of return on investment for social media (an oft-cited sticky widget) she reinforces and elaborates upon a comment by Social Media Explorer Jason Falls about how “The problem with trying to determine ROI for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable.”

She covers how to properly engage in social media — the ol’ it’s a dialogue not a monologue — then digs deeper with knowledge and tips that provide true keys to success.

Throughout the book she drills home crucial aspects of effective social media practice, such as recommendations and the numerable ways these may occur, along with the unspoken rule that you need to discuss issues not only of your own interest, but also those of the community at-large. “Altruism rules above all,” she wisely writes.

Weinberg consistently explains how various elements relate to search engine optimization; the outcome of which can play a big role in the visibility of your web site and provide a powerful tool for reputation management, if you know how to work it right.

Delving under the radar

Discussion of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, videos and podcasts are to be expected in a book of this title. Though again, Weinberg’s perceptions are a cut above the rest.

With Twitter she advises not to dive in head first and instead begin by listening to conversations going on about your particular industry, to include seeing what your competitors are up to. She tells how Twitter is great for tapping into prospects and influencers and calls out tools to search for topics, trends and people.

Her attention to the assorted platforms includes outlining specific advantages; the “why should I care” proposition. With Twitter, she says, “One of the biggest benefits of using the service is the ability to get people to answer questions quickly.” She shows how it can be like an instantaneous focus group, not to mention an invaluable customer service tool.

More added value of this text comes in Weinberg’s coverage of topics that are somewhat under the radar. She delves deep into the bookmarking services StumbleUpon and delicious. She calls attention to Mahalo, a not so well known site that’s good to get a handle on because its results can achieve high rank on search engine results pages.

Her discussion of how social news sites operate — digg, mixx, reddit, Slashdot, sphinn, Tip’d, Yahoo! Buzz, and others — is a true revelation. Here’s an area gaining in adoption that can make a significant difference in attention to your brand. However, it’s tricky business: There’s a boatload of do’s and don’ts that can make the difference between wasting your time or having a big hit.

Injecting case studies to illuminate certain points, Weinberg covers a tremendous amount of ground. So much so that you might want to devour the material in bites.

Weinberg stresses that “social media marketing is a comprehensive effort,” and the same goes for this book.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of The New Community Rules? Have you also read it? What’s your take on the book? Comments welcome.

Related post:

Wonder Gals of Web 2.0

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Wonder Gals of Web 2.0

Posted on September 10, 2009. Filed under: Marketing and Public Relations, Outstanding Communicators, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SuperwomanA Twitter pal recently turned me on to an article titled Wonder Guys of Marketing 2.0. The post highlighted five “marvelous people” who are responsible for popular blogs and big ideas.

The five guys are: Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Hughes, Brian Clark and Michael Arrington. All stand out in the world of Web 2.0. To find out why, read the Wonder Guys piece.

But enough with the boys club routine. Does Web 2.0 have a glass ceiling?

Me thinks not.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves. They’re blazing trials and are true thought leaders whose ideas and opinions matter. And so I present the first installment of Wonder Gals of Web 2.0.

Toby Bloomberg

Toby Bloomberg Best known for Diva Marketing Blog, Bloomberg has been in the web trenches since the late 1990s. Savvy and street-smart with a down-to-earth attitude, Bloomberg helps demystify marketing and social media while having fun along the way. Her jaunty Diva blog consistently ranks among the top in its field and she makes things even livelier with Diva Marketing Talks , her podcast series, featuring chats with other media hotshots.

A staunch advocate for employing blogging as a means of personal empowerment, Bloomberg’s compelling Blogger Stories project compiled tales “of how the blogosphere has touched people’s lives and, in doing so, opened the door to new way of creating relationships and opportunities.”

This clever Wonder Gal created the first business book using Twitter as a distribution channel and content platform. An active organizer and speaker for multiple organizations, she also heads Bloomberg Marketing, a strategic consultancy.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre BreakenridgeBreakenridge wrote the book on public relations as applied to Web 2.0. Make that two books: She’s author of PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences and co-author, with Brian Solis, of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. Both take a penetrating look at how social media and other emerging technologies affect the ways and means of public relations.

Breakenridge also penned The New PR Toolkit: Strategies for Successful Media Relations and Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy, plus she’s a university professor; so her knowledge runs deep. In writing, teaching, and speaking engagements Breakenridge is a thoughtful passionate force for “reinventing the PR industry.” She was among the first to call out the seismic shift in 21st century reporting and news distribution and the subsequent rise of direct-to-consumer communication.

Proving she can both teach and do, as president of PFS Marketwyse, Breakenridge leads a full-service enterprise that enables companies to bolster brands by integrating traditional and new media marketing.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington Whether or not you agree with her politics you can’t deny that Huffington has rocked the blogosphere. As co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post she pioneered the notion of blogs having a real seat at the news table and legitimized bloggers as authentic journalists.

The HP has grown into a powerhouse publication. It’s now one of the most widely read and influential media brands on the internet. Huffington’s clout enables her to attract an impressive array of contributors, making The HP an entertaining and stimulating source of news and views.

This noted political pundit keeps current with media trends: In mid-August her site launched HuffPost Social News which uses Facebook Connect to enable readers to create social news pages. The author of 12 books, Huffington was cited in 2006 by Time as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People and named Media Person of the Year in 2008 by I Want Media.

Charlene Li

Charlene Li Recently making headlines for enticing web superstars Deborah Schultz, Ray Wang and Jeremiah Owyang to join her company, Altimeter Group, Li is an oft-quoted seer of the cyber scene. She’s co-author, with Josh Bernoff, of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, a prescient and practical bestselling book on how businesses can benefit from social media.

The smarty-pants Harvard-grad honed her analytical skills at Forrester, a leading market research company; and as an early proponent of the power of the web, in the 1990s Li created the concept for and launched the internet publishing division of Community Newspaper Company, where she brought 120 community newspapers online.

Li’s into identifying and finding solutions to business problems: Having observed how certain companies have a tough time adopting a social media mindset, part of her current research revolves around studying and resolving a leading obstacle in this regard; corporate aversion to risk.

Li’s many kudos include being acknowledged by Fast Company as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology and being named Visionary of the Year by Society for New Communications Research.

Valeria Maltoni

Valeria MaltoniA marketer, consultant and prolific speaker/presenter, Maltoni advises CEOs on best practices for managing corporate image. Online, she’s recognized for the prodigious content of her uber-popular Conversation Agent. The multi award-winning blog is distinguished by its incisive interviews with individuals from all aspects of the business communications mix, as well as for Valeria’s viewpoints on subjects that veer from the big picture, to small yet important details.

Forthright and provocative, this Wonder Gal calls it as she sees it, often in a bright staccato style that lays out precisely what’s on her keen mind. For instance in a post about company blogs she writes, “Your blog WILL suck at first…. As you become more familiar with the space, and the tool, your efforts will improve.”

Fast Company snagged Maltoni for its Customer Conversation blog and she built one of the publication’s first online communities.  Her words of wisdom also appear in Marketing Profs Daily Fix, Marketing 2.0, Social Media Today and The Blog Herald.

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar WeinbergA web bio for Weinberg states that “Tamar is a member of just about every social network that has a name,” and that’s the truth. She’s also an avid blogger and opinion leader who currently contributes to Real Simple, Lateral Action, Mashable and Techipedia, the latter being her personal blog that explores and explains social media and internet marketing. This self-described “tech geek” knows the web from top to bottom, including pay per click, system administration and search engine optimization.

Besides blogging for Mashable, Weinberg is the site’s community and marketing director, where, she says, “my job is to make our valued members happy.” She finds time to be a media consultant for Say It Social, she’s an editor for Pistachio Consulting Touchbase Blog, and is an independent social media marketing consultant.

With that load only a Wonder Woman could squeeze in writing a book, and Weinberg has done that, too. She penned The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. Released in July, it’s already a must-read guide for learning the intricacies of how to make the most of the many nodes of the socially networked web.

More Wonder Gals?

So that’s the first installment of Wonder Gals of Web 2.0. It’s a terrific group of individuals who’ve done great things to educate, innovate, build community and otherwise move the social web forward.

There are surely others worthy of the Wonder Gal moniker.  But I don’t have all the answers — let me know who you think deserves to be on the list.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think about these Wonder Gals of Web 2.0? Who did I miss? Comments welcome.

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