There are countless books out in the market gushing about the goodness of social media marketing. There are also those of the ilk that encourage small and medium businesses to get connected with the online social sphere or “risk getting left behind”.
At first glance, “Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World” by Gail Goodman seems to fall into both categories. The difference is that Goodman comes with credentials: she’s the CEO of Constant Contact, a provider of e-mail marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, and online survey tools for more than half a million small businesses (which means she knows what she’s talking about).
Another difference is that aside from the usual fluff and hype over social media, Goodman does provide a proper framework for small businesses intending to tread the dangers of marketing their businesses through social media. This is how I know Goodman’s legit: in her framework, the “Engagement Marketing Cycle” she argues that delivering a ‘WOW!’ experience to the customer should always come first. That’s right, not running out immediately to set up your company’s Facebook Page or Twitter account.
Here’s the “Engagement Marketing Cycle” in a nutshell:
1. Deliver A WOW! Experience.
The idea is that making your customers feel awesome lets them remember your business and have a positive feeling about the experience. Small businesses do that by providing exceptional service.
2. Entice To Stay In Touch.
Now that you’ve created a great customer experience, you need to now create a connection while the experience is fresh in their minds. This is where you connect with them on a variety of platforms such as social networks, direct mail, etc.
3. Engage People.
It’s only after delivering a great experience and having enticed them to stay in touch where engaging customers make sense. This includes having conversations with your audience and creating relevant content to drive active participation.
The rest of the book delves into the nuts and bolts of using various social media platforms, and also shares some tips and tricks that you can employ in your own marketing efforts. I like the various examples of how small businesses engage with their customers, and there’s a useful glossary at the end of the book for those who aren’t familiar with social media.
“Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World” is really aimed at those who owns or works for a small business and are looking to engage with customers on social media for the first time. Most of the ideas aren’t new, but can prove critical to those who’ve never attempted social media marketing before.