Nordic Track Book Club Review: Secrets of Social Media Marketing

We’ve reviewed several books on Social Media Marketing and Paul Gillin’s Secrets of Social Media Marketing: How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo-Charge Your Business! may be the best of them to date. Comprehensive, an easy read, well laid out, and true to its title, you felt like you were getting the inside scoop on how to use get the most out of social media to effectively market your business. 5-out-of-5 [NordicTrack] Ski Stars.


p.7 Be willing to admit fallibility and promise to improve. Nothing will stop a negative discussion more quickly.

p.9 When customers believe that companies actually care about their concerns they are more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt before taking to the public airwaves. Your harshest critics can quickly become your biggest fans if they believe you are really listening.

p.12 You can look at ROI as “return on investment,” but it can also refer to “risk of inaction.”

p.33 Embrace all feedback. Customers who complain are an opportunity to engage in conversation. Find out what will make them happy, then make changes that knock their socks off.

p.72 Blogs are your best bet for controlling the conversation.

p.78 Give company bloggers a list of preferred keywords and ask them to use those words often to improve organic search results.

p.102 Connections between members are essential to social networks. These relationships go by various names, such as friends, followers or connections.

p.104 The social networking phenomenon is teaching us that people desperately want to share things about themselves. They want others to know what they like, what they don’t like, even (thanks to services such as Twitter) what they’re doing at this very moment.

p.108 Most social networks tie a member’s activity back to a personal profile. The more the member contributes to and interacts with the community, the more influence he or she gains.

p.165 In most cases all a person needs to create an account is a name and an email address.  If they like what they find at a site they volunteer more and more information because they want to become part of the community.

The “99:1” rule. Whether statistically valid or not, the accepted rule of thumb is that only about 1% of visitors to public forums contribute 99% of the content.

p.168 The fastest way to strangle community interaction is to let ideas go unacknowledged.

p.178 Don’t let the pool get too big. The strength of the community is its intimacy.

p.186 A new style of marketing is about engagement, and that means throwing out the elevator pitch and the 30-second spot. It means forming a relationship with the prospect through the exchange of meaningful information. It’s about forming relationships that lead to long-term repeat business as opposed to making a sale.

p.191 Don’t think of how you want your customers to find you. Think of how they are most likely to find you. These are the keywords to use.

p.200 Voice is the single most critical element to publishing success. It’s a mix of style, variety, media, personal style and attitude. It can help you stand out even in a market that’s full of competitors.

p.259 Before any campaign begins you need to put the stakeholders in a room and figure out who your audience is. Define objectives for each audience. Define measurement criteria, the more specific the better. Define your benchmark.  That is the baseline standard against which progress will be measured.

Measurement is about choosing the right metrics for your situation and then applying them in a disciplined manner.

p.262 It used to be that unique visitors, page views and visitor time spent on a site were a pretty good indication of success. Today you may need to consider search engine rank, RSS subscriptions, social bookmarking activity, discussion group posts, etc.

p.264 Use unique landing page addresses. Double-down on winning Urls. Pay attention to search terms. Scrutinize repeat visitors. Analyze visitor paths once they reach your site.


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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.