Ok, I need to reveal a bias from the onset: I’ve reviewed Melinda Emerson’s (@smallbizlady) first book How To Be Your Own Boss in 12 Months and loved it. I’ve also written a few analytics articles for her site, Succeed As Your Own Boss, as well as reviewed Web analytics as a service provider. So yes, I’m biased a little (smile).
But that bias is given freely with true pleasure and respect. The trust behind it is beyond worthwhile, because Melinda’s valuable insights are so beyond worthwhile. She has helped many small businesses grow, buoyed by her twitter chat mantra:
“To end small business failure by helping you succeed as your own boss.“
That mission has yield tremendous results. While SmallBizChat, her popular small business Twitter chat, has highlighted some very interesting businesses from various industries, Melinda’s insights has appeared in national media such as the New York Times as well as marketing partnerships with storied brands such as Pitney Bowes, Federal Express, and American Express. In addition, Forbes Magazine named Melinda Emerson #1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter.
Melinda shares her best social media tips in a new brief e-book, How To Be A Social Media Ninja: 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition in Social Media. While so many professionals state what they think business needs, Melinda states what really works.
Melinda’s tactics and suggestions in Ninja share the best quality she applies in all her consultations and presentation – a discerning eye for business development. The end result is true grit ideas that are brief enough to apply yet substantial enough to incorporate into a small business plan. She reminds readers that success with social media is reserved for those who have an active strategy:
“Do not be overwhelmed with social media, just make sure that you know where your best target customer hangs out online so you can be part of the conversation.”
There are 101 ideas, some which are understandably ubiquitous, such as using a blog and “always look to display value.” Yet Melinda’s approach produces unique twists through noting the ancillary steps needs to succeed. For example, she notes the usage of an image library:
“…adding pictures adds a huge amount of depth to your blog…try to start out with a library of 50 or so images to give yourself some options.”
Another tip suggests having a calendar to plan your content:
“It’s important to build an editorial calendar to keep track of your content. It will also help you brainstorm topics in advance.”
A nice touch is a segment on preparing a website for mobile access:
“If you are building a website from scratch, look for a Web developer who understands responsive design (RWD). Responsive Web design is a concept that can expand, contract, rearrange, or remove content based on the user’s device and screen….Using RWD can make your website easier and cheaper to manage, while giving mobile users a better experience.”
I liked the nods to analytics and links. Small businesses usually ignore search engine optimization, but tips such as paying attention to links for a blog can blend social media and SEO maintenance. Facebook Insights is also mentioned, as well as a few tools Melinda uses to keep on track. The tips serve to remind the reader to plan well, and to provide a few starter tips as well.
How to Be A Social Media Ninja is a short guide, 40 pages, with the tips explained in short paragraphs. This book does not elaborate on large processes or organization in a way like the book Empowered does. But for readers seeking efficient thought starters, imagine the suggestions as a fine collection of reminders of what should happen to execute social media well.
Readers interested in furthering social media can combine the tips with Power Friending. Other social media books that this book compliments include The Strategy Book, The Impact Equation, Social Marketology, and the aforementioned Empowered.
All in all, though, as a standalone guide, How to Be A Social Media Ninja certainly earned its black belt.