As programmed, the new book is about to enter its final stages of editing: I have been given another 60 days to complete the draft, most importantly, I must downgrade the interactive version I had almost completed on iBooks to an ePub compatible format.
Sadly, this means doing away with a lot of the hyperlinked content, the applets and so on, but hey! the time will come; realistically, given the already niche appeal of what I write, the last thing I need are further restrictions on the potential readership.
No idea of what the cover will look like, but I have the title:
“For Friends, not for Brands!”
which is lifted from a comment I made during a discussion with my friend Carmen (who sounds spanish, but is filipino and lives in Canada – talk about melting pot…)
According to the synopsis (which I have written myself, so its got to be pretty accurate):
This book covers the whole spectrum of the Digital & Social Media project.
It is suitable for the intermediate and advanced user and assumes a working knowledge of the major Social Networks, as well as a certain familiarity with searching and browsing the Internet or participating in a Forum discussion.
This section briefly addresses the reality of Social Media, how pervasive they have become and how diverse they are; the key message here is the fundamentally non-technical nature of the phenomenon, how it echoes a basic need of humans to socially connect with their peers.
The first thing you should do if you need a quick win to convince your company to “dip their toe” is starting to listen to your customers.
This section lays the foundation of any D&SM project because it states what realistically can be achieved with such a project. To the risk of being schematic, it is our belief that D&SM project should fall into one of two categories – awareness or lead-generation.
There is also evidence that the former is best applied to fast moving goods, while the second requires a somewhat longer sell cycle.
We also cover here the fundamental principles which apply here, stealing (several) pages from Dale Carnegie’s venerable book “How to win friends and influence people”.
This section is divided into two big subsection covering the “process” of a D&SM project, i.e. what are the phases of a D&SM project, the deliverables at the end of each phase, how it connects and interacts with the others, where it takes place.
The focus of this (long) chapter is the doing of things, answering questions like “Do I need specialized monitoring software?” “How do I build a sound , reliable and lasting content strategy?” “How do I ensure the marketing data intercepted on Social Media are accrued to my company and will be usable for future projects?”
Also we start to look at the organizational aspects or – perhaps better – the art of navigating of a D&SM project during the course of its life: “What are the main control points across which you extend the buy-in of the company?” “When do you involve Communications?” “When do you engage with Sales?” “When do you boil it down to a story the CEO can tell his peers and consider contributing to?”
We conclude with the vision of the Social Enterprise CEO, of which very few examples exist today.
Measurement is the beast for D&SM projects, simply because it is so easy to measure things in digital that you may be tempted to measure everything, but understand nothing.
Our approach is based on the observation that while awareness is relatively easy to measure and leads very quickly to consideration for purchase in a fast moving sell cycle, not so for longer cycle goods or services.
In fact observation has allowed us to identify the three phases of opinion forming, and how they are related to the sales funnel conceptual description of a longer sell cycle.
Measurement must be therefore allow us to assess how well we make consumers progress from one phase to the the other, isolating the effects of that phase and offering suggestions for improvement.
The final section deals with the description of the skill profile of a good D&SM team, regardless of whether is inside the company or outside or – more likely – somewhere in between.
Which skills are needed and when or the project to achieve its result and to act as a best practice within the company, spreading as a benign virus.
Additionally, there are a dozen case studies, although the final word on which ones will make it to e-print will depend on authorisations; this new work is quite a bit longer, although as usual is hard to say given the quirks of pagination on ebooks: if the first one was a svelte 40-pager, I am hoping to keep this at around 150.
You can expect it by the summer, so start saving; in the meanwhile if you have a great idea for the cover illustration, I’d like to hear about it!