Anyone asking “How do you use social media for my small business?” simply must purchase this book by Marsha Collier. Social Media Commerce for Dummies is an excellent resource for anyone that is beginning to use social media for the first time to advance their small business. It is filled with easy-to-find sections, tips, screenshots, and plenty of illustrations to help explain how to use the social media tools.
It is split up into 5 parts:
Part 1 – Prepping for Social Media Commerce – this section answers “why should my business care about social media?” I can see how this is very helpful for owners that don’t understand the value of engaging with consumers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It explains the history of social media and how to set attainable goals. My favorite quote:
“If you’re thinking of using social media as an advertising channel, think again. In this new world of messages and engagement, old-school product messaging goes down in flames quickly.” (pg 22).
It really is all about engaging with people that like your brand and your products. Social media is about the conversation – talking with the fans and friends of your brand/business, not selling to/at them. Then, as you keep the conversation alive, they tell their friends and so on. Think of it as word-of-mouth marketing that you can be a part of, eaves drop on, and help spread!
Part II – Adapting your web presence – This section explains clearly the most successful way to engage with customers online. There is active engagement and passive engagement. I also found the section on review sites very enlightening. It shares information about review sites like Yelp.com and Google + Local, how to set up a company profile on those sites, and how to handle positive and negative reviews.
Note about blogging
She touches on blogging in Chapter 4 (Creating a Social Persona Through Your Website). However, I feel like this section is lacking in one area. It doesn’t cover self-hosting nor the benefits of purchasing your own personalized URL. Both should have been mentioned since free options are great, but with free comes some drawbacks, like not owning your own server and therefor not owning your own content. Plus, with WordPress.com, you cannot put up ads and so it limits your ability to generate revenue.
Part III – Casting for and Catching Customers – In this part you will find information about engaging on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. It is very basic – you will learn how to set up business pages and some tools (like Buffer) to make using them more time-efficient. Again, this book is for beginners. If you are a power Twitter-user there are a few things that you can still find helpful (I had never heard of Twilert before), but this book introduces the basics without going in depth. So if you know someone that asks “how do you use ‘The Twitter,’ for my business?” This is perfect for them!
Part IV – Supporting Your Social Media Commerce Efforts – I found the chapter about monitoring your online reputation very helpful! It is so important to know what people are saying about your brand. Not only can you find out ways your customers enjoy what you are doing (and keep that up) but if something is amiss you can fix it.
This section also covers the time-saving tools like Buffer and takes you step-by-step on how to purchase advertising on different social media sites like Facebook.
All in all, this is a fantastic book for online commerce beginners. It is a fantastic resource, gives easy-to-understand definitions, and has a very useful glossary and index.
I received this book to review. All opinions are 100% my own.