When we began the very first research for The Social Media Bible we asked 1,000 people to participate. The first discovery was that they didn’t want just another business book. A typical business book is 250 pages, 60,000 words, 20 chapters, 3,000 words per chapter. It’s a formula. I’ve written five of them.
What they said was, “First, we want a business book that shows the tactics of social media.” What are blogs? What’s a podcasts? What’s a Vlog? What’s all this stuff about microblogging and Twitter? Second they wanted a guide. They told me, give us all the companies that actually offer all of these services; who are they, how did they start. Last, they wanted a third business book, which was a book on strategy. They said that “Now that I know the tactics and the tools, how do we apply them to their businesses? How do we develop a strategy?”
John Wiley & Sons is the publisher of The Social Media Bible. They began publishing when Thomas Jefferson was our President of the United States. They’ve been publishing for 202 years. During all of that time they have never published three books in one or have they published a book this large. The Social Media Bible is the largest book Wiley has ever published in 200 years, but in four days it sold out in six major metropolitan areas across the country and has been listed in the Top 100 Best Selling Books In America since it’s come out.
Why, because, I asked my customers what they wanted. I go them involved and engaged. I can write a book anyway at all. My theory was just tell me what you want and if I give you what you want, and if I do that you’re going to buy it. Isn’t that what marketing is supposed to accomplish? Social media allows you to create a forum, an environment where you can bring the customers in as collaborators. Include your customers, and industry leaders as collaborators. In the book, I reached out to the top people in the social media industry throughout the world to talk about their personal experiences with social media. These include the biggest companies, the biggest individuals, and the most influential people on the planet. Every one of them are people that are selling, using, and promoting social media.
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I simply went to them and asked them to participate in a book. Every one of these experts participated in three, four, five pages and even the editing of every chapter of the book. Get your customers involved that way. They are willing to do it; they are happy to do it. More than 300 people out of the 1,000 asked to participate as reviewers and collaborators. Ask your customers to participate in your brand, get them engaged, ask them to be collaborators in your offering.
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Lon Safko is the co-author of The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies For Business Success. He is also an innovator and professional speaker with over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, strategic partnering, speaking, training, writing, and e-commerce. He is the founder of eight successful companies, including Paper Models, Inc.
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