The brilliance of Mitch Jackson‘s approach to social media is that he somehow manages to be consistently omnipresent across a number of different channels and the fact that he is doing so while still preserving the human empathetic touch that characterizes his core value of simply being a good person. As he emphasized in a guest lecture in my Digital Marketing class at Chapman University:
Platforms come and go. Relationships can last a lifetime!
– Mitch Jackson
By practicing what he preaches, Mitch has put into action what many of us others are merely reading, thinking or talking about. The result has been that Mitch Jackson over time has grown and nurtured an impressive network of thought leaders and industry executives. Evidence of this can be seen in the form of this book.
Imagine that Mitch has developed a close-enough relationship with 47 different people who all jumped at the opportunity to contribute to the collaborative process of writing this book (in full disclosure, I am honored to be one of them!). One notable thought leader, David Meerman Scott has been so enamored by Mitch Jackson so he not only wrote the foreword of this book, he also incorporates the example of Mitch Jackson as a “newsjacking master” such as at the big National Speakers Association Influence conference where I filmed this segment from David's keynote presentation.
After now having spent 24 hours with my fresh copy of the book, it is clear that Mitch has put a lot of thought into his role as a curator to recruit contributors with expertise in many different areas related to social media strategies and tactics. Mitch has also, it should be noted, himself penned a number of the chapters sharing from his own impressive experiences of what social media can do and how it gets done throughout the book.
All killer, no filler
Part 1: The Social Media Mindset
In the first part, Mitch Jackson, sets the stage for the book by dedicating it to the mindset required for social media success. Absent this right mindset, the technical and platform-specific advice and communications tips covered later in the book won't anyone much good.
Bob Burg stresses how the “Go-Giver” approach of proactive generosity works supremely well also on social media, whereas Kim Garst is talking more specifically about how to become an influencer. In short, it takes authenticity, commitment and hard work in terms of being helpful and responsive for you to achieve the ultimate objective of building an audience that trusts you.
On the related theme of establishing relationships built upon respect and social engagement, Bryan Kramer points to the importance of showcasing your personality such as by writing like you are speaking. You have an opportunity to stand out not by being overly serious in business relationship but by simply being more human and Bryan is also the one who coined the phrase H2H or human-to-human.
Shama Hyder goes into the important aspect of how to work with an agency if a business would go that route. It may be tempting for those not so familiar with social media communications to outsource it all to an external agency and get rid of the “problem.” Still, for such a relationship to be successful, it is critical that the agency in question truly knows the brand they represent in order for the agency to best serve their clients and Shama outlines issues that clarifies how this could be done.
In my own chapter in the mindset section, I focus on the global implications of social media, both in terms of its challenges but primarily how it can greatly expand your opportunities. For example, by developing a social media presence, in my case as The Social Media Professor, you also have to be ready for serendipitous opportunities from abroad that may present themselves at your virtual doorsteps when you least expect it such as when I recently had the great honor of receiving an invitation by HSH Prince Albert II to serve on the Monaco Digital Advisory Council!
Part 2: How to Use the Social Media Platforms
In the next section, Mitch Jackson organizes a terrific set of chapters covering a number of different platforms that we now have at our disposal. Chris Brogan helps get you going with your blog, a medium that is not going away. However, the problem for most bloggers is that they run out of ideas on what to blog about. In this regard, Chris does a great job by sharing many simple techniques on how you can come up with fresh topic ideas that also would be valuable to your audience.
In spite of recent difficulties at Facebook, it is understandable that Mitch allocated more than one chapter to the platform given its still very dominant size and high share of the online advertising market. In separate chapters Stephanie Liu and Azriel Ratz both go into Facebook and Facebook advertising and gets you up to speed in terms of effective Facebook strategies such as the effective use of Facebook Live streaming or how you can cater to consumers' varying needs at different stages of their customer journey with a number of tips and tricks.
Sue B Zimmerman covers Instagram strategies that work including the more recent developments with stories and IGTV (or Instagram TV) so that you can actually be noticed in that increasingly crowded platform of Instagram. Roberto Blake tells his secrets that keeps up his incessant productivity on YouTube where he shares valuable content on a consistent basis across a number of topic categories.
Nicole Abboud lists what you need in order to get started with your podcast. The steps involved and the strategic decisions you need to make. She knows what she is talking about I can tell as she has been a guest speaker in my Chapman University class. Nancy Myrland caught the hot topic of voice marketing through smart speakers, etc, and she goes through how to set up your flash briefings on Amazon Echo and other tips. I may take her up on that! She also covers why voice marketing is becoming increasingly important for marketers to consider as as more and more conversations are moving in that direction.
Mike Allton, a brand ambassador for AgoraPulse, goes into not just that (terrific) tool, but also other resources that you can use to manage your social media presence and to analyze the outcomes of what you do. By using the right tools, you can have clearer view of what kinds of online activities are worthwhile for you.
Part 3: Social Media Communication and Success Tips
After having covered the mindset required and platform-specific discussions in the first two parts, the third and final part of Mitch Jackson's social media book goes into social media strategies, success tips, and tactics that apply across various platforms. Regardless of your choice of platform, at the end of the day, the influence you develop over time stems from the content that you create and share with the world. This is what Mark W. Schaefer talks about in his chapter and he teaches you how to create smart, original, and relevant content for your audience that makes you stand out vs. your competition. Mark also asks you to be patient and not expect overnight results but once you commit to a consistent presence online, the rewards can be plentiful as it would help you become known, the title of his book on building a platform of influence online.
Courtney Smith Kramer shares some intriguing perspectives on how you can become more creative in what you share on social media by likening the content creation process with sex. I will not give away too much other than saying that Courtney suggests that you should not think of content creation as a chore but rather than as something that you look forward to, ideally in the company of others, and hopefully, her ideas will help you get out of your content constipation mode.
In another chapter, Jon Ferrara shares his views on how you can build a personal brand and further grow your professional network. He talks about the starting point of being helpful to others but also how you can foster more genuine relationships and leverage social media tools to listen and ultimately cultivate a community of people who are influential to their respective audiences.
Many people hold back on social media because they fear that people will complain about you. That could indeed happen but in comes Jay Baer to the rescue! Jay goes through how you can effectively manage complaints on social media all the way from how you can identify the issues, demonstrate empathy, and show up as being responsive without getting stuck in a rabbit hole.
Given that a consistent presence on social media calls for a never-ending need for fresh content, two chapters go into how you can create your content in collaboration with others. Nick Rishwain, JD opens your eyes into opportunities to co-create content with both customers and colleagues. Nick argues that the benefits go beyond simply saving time and resources to create the content in question as the collaborative efforts also are likely to strengthen the relationships and to inspire more engagement such as in the form of sharing of said content. This book is an example of this approach as Mitch by inviting me to contribute a chapter to this book also motivated me to write and share this very review that you are reading.
On the same theme of co-creation, Tyler Anderson covers the what, why, and how of user-generated content. Simply put, brands can go out and seek ways to encourage people to create content around your themes or you can monitor what people are posting and ask for permission to use it in your own marketing where you can let the user get the credit they deserve. One benefit of user-generated content is that it is trusted more by consumers by being produced by “regular” people as it comes across as more authentic as compared to communications by brands.
Swedish Smörgåsbord of Social Media Goodies
These were merely some of the many chapters included in The Ultimate Guide to Social Media. There were also a number of other authors who have contributed chapters that I haven't had time to look at yet. Thank you again, Mitch for the privilege of playing a role in this project and for assembling such a delicious Swedish smörgåsbord of social media goodies just in time for the holidays!