Ask just about anyone who does a fair amount of thinking about social media how to connect with customers today, and the content will most likely turn to compelling content. So it's always cool when someone comes along and compiles a bunch of compelling content from a group of smart thinkers, all in one place. So when Codrut Turcanu, internet marketing strategist, reached out to let me know he was putting together a collaborative e-book featuring a batch of marketers and pro-blogging experts -- and asked me to contribute my thoughts on content, social media, micromarketing and even book marketing -- I responded with (something like) "hella yeah".
Codrut's free e-book, Authentic Connections 2.0 is out now and - in addition to my trademark genius (j/k) - it includes a lot of good thinking about how to make great content, earn attention, attract an audience, and get social media and marketing right. Whether you're a marketer seeking good ideas, a blogger hoping to earn a living doing the social media thang, or a n00b looking for sound tips in an easy-to-read package, you'll probably find at least a few things of interest between Authentic Connections 2.0's virtual covers.
A few of my favorite quotes concern - pay attention people - content. How to think about it, how to get it right, interesting ways to make it work for you, and why great social content creation is about so much more than just getting the word out far and wide.
Go ahead and download your free copy or read it all online at the Authentic Connections 2.0 blog - but if you'd like a few tastes of what you'll find inside, here are some of the thoughts that had me saying, "Right on."
One of my BFFs (best Boston-area friends), Ann Handley, writes about why content marketing can't be an afterthought. Ann writes:
Instead of thinking about "repurposing" or "recycling" your content as an after-thought, think of "reimagining" it. Repurposing is about slapping the same stuff in various places. Reimagining is about thinking through your content, from the point of inception... Noting is a one off... but a piece of a larger whole.
Speaking of best friends, MEC Interaction's Richard Fitzgerald got plenty of offers from girls looking to be his new best friend after he won 52 weeks' worth of free Mexican food as a giveaway at a social media conference. He took the experiences that followed and turned them into a blog called 52BurritoDates. Fun idea, but also some interesting insights for businesses. Richard writes:
I think that the model of 52 burrito dates and by applied to any company, in any industry. Social media marketing is all about creative a narrative, a sustained engagement. It's not necessary to aim for wide reach, concentrating on what the unique offering is... So many companies have... customers who would be perfect to create online content. Specifically, I think service companies could look to copying the format of 42 burrito dates, by handing over their social media presence to a loyal customer in exchange for free services.
And this brings me back to another social media friend, Toby Bloomberg - to my knowledge she wasn't one of Richard's burrito dates (at least not yet) but an awkward segue is better than no segue at all. Toby has been blogging and helping businesses get smart about social media for as long as anybody in the business. She points out that at the end of the day, social content needs to be a two-way-street. It's not just a way to say but a mechanism for meaningful two-way interactions (just like good burrito date conversation, I'd imagine). Toby writes:
When blogs entered the scene they brought with them a unique visibility that also occurs in social networks. Since people could interact with each in real time a la comments, tweets, status updates, etc. relationships and friends began to form in the digital world. Friendships that began with two or three people developed into networks among twenty and thirty and hundreds of people...That’s the way it was for the corner grocer or baker or candle stick maker. Not only was she involved with her customers but with the community at large. She was the person you bought your cupcakes from but also the women who you met at the PTA. Shop keepers were integrated into the community. That’s what blogs brought back. A way to for the people in companies to get to know their customers better and a unique opportunity for customers to put a face to a logo.
Obviously Ann, Richard and Toby have plenty more to say - as do the rest of the 18 or so contributors (all laid out in handy-dandy interview format, with Codrut asking the questions and the experts answering). And then there's me - and you already know you love me, so what are you waiting for?