Dan Zarrella on Social Media Marketing

Advice from "The Social Media & Marketing Scientist"

By Mary Rotman
November 23, 2009

Are you looking to take advantage of social media for your business or organization? With easy-to-understand introductions to blogging, forums, opinion and review sites, and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, The Social Media Marketing Book will help you choose the best--and avoid the worst--of the social web's unique marketing opportunities.

Author Dan Zarrella (aka "The Social Media & Marketing Scientist") recently took the time to answer a few questions about his new book:

What made you write the book?

There is a lack of practical, tactical advice on marketing bookshelves concerning social media. Rather than talk about just "engaging in the conversation" I wanted to give readers a hands-on introduction to the social web and what it can do to impact their business's bottom line.

Social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) have been around for a while now. Why is your book especially important now?

Two big reasons:
1) With the economy as it is, businesses are looking for ways to maximize the impact of their budgets and social media marketing is one of the best avenues to do that because of its low cost of entry and highly accountable nature.
2) Young people today are spending enormous amounts of time on social networks and in the changing world of marketing their status as digital natives can make them valuable assets to businesses. This book can be the first step for turning social networking addiction into a marketable skill.

The world of marketing, PR and consumer relations is undergoing its biggest change ever and if companies and marketers get left behind now they'll suffer greatly.

These technologies are still very nascent and their popularity and market penetrations are set to only increase, both domestically and abroad.

What is the single most important thing readers of your book will be able to
do after reading your book?

They'll be able to asses all of the potential social media marketing avenues avalable to them, decide which ones are right for their needs and start leveraging them to impact their business.

Everyone seems to be using social media networks these days, but who is your intended audience?

People who are new to marketing or social media and networking in general and people who are new to social media marketing specifically.

Do you have any tips & tricks for someone who is just getting started in the area of social media marketing? What have you learned along the way?

1) Get involved in social media marketing as soon as you can, its cheap, easy and your customers are waiting for you.
2) Your blog can and should be your social media hub. Integrate it with your efforts on other platforms and sites.
3) Take some time to set up your social media profiles well with good images, introductory information, and links back to your site.
4) Don't sell too hard in social networks. Provide some value apart from what you're selling before you try promoting your own stuff.
5) Allow and encourage your customers and fans to create content about you. Organic media like this is far more powerful that what you make yourself.

If you enjoyed this interview with Dan Zarrella, please purchase The Social Media Handbook.

You might also be interested in The New Community Rules and Friends with Benefits (No Starch Press).

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