Read The Digital Handshake to Get Started in Social Media Marketing

The Digital Handshake, by Paul ChaneyThe year 2009 has seen a mini-explosion in books about social media and how to use social media to market a business.  Being in a position to review (or publish the review) of many of those books, one thing surprises me:  how different each of the books is.

You’d think all the books would be alike.  Not so.  Each manages to approach their subject from a different angle, and bring something new to the table.

Paul Chaney’s book, The Digital Handshake, is no exception.

The Digital Handshake, published by Wiley, is a book that gives marketers and small business personnel an overview of the many different ways to connect with customers online today. The book gives you the big picture, and also explains the tools and some of the techniques you need to make your online marketing with social media a reality.

The book is divided into 3 parts.

Part I of the book covers the shift from traditional ways of reaching your market (traditional advertising) to today’s forms of new media. It explains what has changed and why. Here’s a part from the book that gave a vivid  analogy of this change:

Bourne, Not Bond: Consumers Want Real Experiences and Perspectives, Not Marketing Speak

You recall the days of classic Agent 007 James Bond…. He was suave, debonair, and hardly ever got a scratch. Bond drove expensive cars, wore fabulous clothes, ate at the finest restaurants, and always, always got the girl.

There was a time when advertising was the same. Slick marketing messages conceived on Madison Avenue high-rises delivered mass-marketing style via broadcast and print were consumed and believed by the buying public, no questions asked. *** Not so any longer.  We now live in the age of Jason Bourne, not James Bond.

Unlike his counterpart,  Bourne gets beaten up, shot at, and otherwise knocked around with great regularity. Rarely does he walk away from a fight unscathed. Neither does he get the girl. *** Bourne’s is a world of gritty, cold reality.

That’s the world advertisers find themselves in as well. Consumers have little trust in marketing messages, and, therefore, advertisers have to work much harder for their attention and, more importantly, their trust.

Part II covers new-media marketing strategies and the tools you’ll need to implement those strategies.  It examines business blogging;  using social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook; developing a niche community using tools such as Ning and KickApps; microblogging with Twitter; marketing your business with online video; podcasting; and getting visibility with “social media press releases.”  You get just enough to understand the advantages of each and get you thinking about how to use each in your own marketing mix.

Part III covers a 3-step plan of action for using social media in marketing:  listen, engage and measure.  In this part of the book, Paul explains how to do all 3.  In it he includes citations to tools you can use, especially tools for monitoring your online reputation.

Who This Book is For

This is not a book that tells you exactly how to set up a blog, step by step.  It’s not a book that comprehensively profiles 50 social media sites and explains how to use each.  Nor is it a book that assumes you are already proficient at social media and want advanced techniques or to immerse yourself in the culture of one site (say, Twitter).  There’s a place for all such books — but that’s not this book.

The Digital Handshake is for someone who wants to get a crash course in social media and how to use it for marketing.  If you are:

(1) fed up because traditional marketing is not working any more, or

(2) frustrated because you see marketing shifting to social media, but don’t understand it well enough yourself yet,

then this book is for you.  It will get you to a level of knowledge sufficient to get started with social media marketing.

Why You Should Trust the Author

I’ve known Paul Chaney for 5 years through online connections.  Like many of my online connections, we’ve never had the pleasure of meeting in person.  But I’ve collaborated with Paul on a few projects.  And over those five years I have followed his body of work.  So you could say we’ve had a “digital handshake.”   I have a pretty good feel for his knowledge.

Paul is someone steeped in this “new media” world.  He’s not someone who discovered blogs last year, with a mere 20 or 30 blog posts under his belt, who has the chutzpah to call himself a “social media expert” despite  limited practical knowledge (unfortunately, lots of those out there!).  Paul really is an expert, especially in the realm of social media from a small business perspective.

So I had no hesitation reviewing Paul’s manuscript prior to publishing, and recommending the book for a blurb on the cover, and recommending it to you now.

With The Digital Handshake you’ll get solid guidance about how to market your business in today’s changed online landscape.  Find out more about The Digital Handshake.