Toby Bloomberg’s free eBook Social Media Marketing GPS was developed as a new book genre built on a succession of tweet interviews about one business topic: Social Media Marketing. The contributors are forty prominent marketers from Canada, England, India and the US. They include author David Meerman Scott, Ann Handley of Marketing Profs, Scott Monty who heads the social media effort at Ford Motor Company and Blogher’s Elisa Camahort.
Toby is recognized for her expertise in combining social media with traditional marketing values.
Her blog Diva Marketing, is included in the Forbes list of 20 Marketing and Social Media Blogs By Women. What follows is an interview with Toby about her ebook and, more importantly, about social media.
Who was Social Media Marketing GPS written for?
It was written for two audiences. It was written for people who are just stepping into social media and don’t know what it’s all about. And it was also written for people who are active in the space but want a refresher or just a few new ideas. I think both audiences will find value in the book.
Were there any surprises in the outcomes or conclusions of interviews?
Every single person interviewed across 12 different topics mentioned that Social Media, in order to be successful, needs to have a strategy with goals, objectives and measurable outcomes. And that really surprised me. I did not think that no matter what people talked about, they would mention strategy at that level, but they did. I was glad it was reinforced throughout the book.
How did you come up with the twitter format for the book?
I wanted to test twitter, and see if I could push the envelope and do something different. I wanted to see if people would pay attention to a stream of information that was tweeted by one person on one topic. And so in order to do that I put structure around it in the format of a book. Just as a traditional business book would have, there is a forward. And the forward is by Shel Israel, and then we go into “What is Social Media”, ethics and branding, etc. And it ends with an after forward by David Meerman Scott. So it wraps itself in context as well as content. And I think that’s what makes it a very easy and familiar read.
What do you have to say about companies who complain about Social Media, “We cannot control this. People will make negative comments…”
Yes they do, and the funny thing about it is, people make negative comments all the time. And most really smart marketers understand, you can’t control your customer’s perception of your brand. But you can help them manage it. By the clues you put out, the service you provide, buy the excellence of the product. And social media is really no different. It’s just another way for people to express themselves.
What is interesting is that, if someone drops a negative comment on your blog or FB page, you have the ability to go in and correct that in a space where people see how you respond to problems. And quite frequently, that can help strengthen the brand’s image as opposed to being a detriment.
People are going to look toward the digital world and the internet in order to build stronger relationships and communication strategies with consumers. That will change the way people do business. It’s taking us back to a time when relationships and people mattered and doing business with a handshake was important and integrity was important. So in a way, Jacki, the world is spinning backwards. But it’s a good thing because we are learning to work with each other online and offline.
So what are you working on now?
I’m taking a closer dive into Social Media tactics and to understand how Social Media impacts the enterprise. Building strategies and models for companies to help them do that well and not get tripped up. And in addition, I’m watching what happens with this eBook very carefully and deciding that the next one will be.
You can download Social Media Marketing GPS from Toby’s blog: http://www.bloombergmarketing.blogs.com/
Digital marketer Jacki Schklar produces video and interactive content, sometimes with a comedic slant. Her projects have been recognized by the Funny or Die editorial team, BestViral.com, TVGuide.com and The Online Video Guide. She publishes Funny not Slutty and can be found at Southern Jewish Princess Media.