Don't Buy This Book

  |  April 1, 2010   |  Comments

Do you need the new book "Social Media Metrics"? Here are some straightforward facts to help you decide.

ClickZ attracts a sophisticated audience. If you're like three-fourths of online marketing sophisticates, you don't need my new book "Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment" which starts shipping from places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

If you're like me, you want to know the main point of the book right up front so you can:

  1. Decide it's written by a crazy person and should be avoided.
  2. Decide that you'll have to read the whole thing just to understand it and don't have time.
  3. Decide that you understand the premise well enough to skip it.
  4. Buy it for somebody else.

I tend to fall into category three more often than not. Don't get me wrong, Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" is a wonderful book. But if you understand the title, you have what you need to design a great Web site. "The Long Tail"? Yep, I get it.

So, what is my latest about and do you need it? Here's the whole book in a nutshell:

  1. You already know that social media is where the Internet and the World Wide Web were in the mid 1990s. It's important. It's inevitable. I don't talk about that at all. That's so 2009.

  2. Social media is so important that the results of your social media efforts should be continuously assessed.

  3. There are time-honored metrics for advertising like reach, frequency, and awareness that are the same in the sociosphere as they are on TV and radio and in print.

  4. Influence is tricky. Knowing whom to suck up to in order to get more reach or more impact is good old-fashioned PR on steroids and in hyperspace.

  5. Sentiment is more than tricky. The jury is still out, but has been out since the 1970s, on linguistic analysis. I'm keeping an open mind and an open sense of curiosity because I want it to work. I want somebody to say, "Yes, we can tell that the tweet, 'This new sports drink tastes sick,' is positive or negative based on the apparent age of the tweeter and the region of the country." But I ain't seen it yet.

  6. Social media is about branding as well as direct response. You must understand both.

  7. An opportunity to see is now an opportunity to share, and both can be measured.

  8. Measuring your ability to listen, understand, and act on what you hear in the sociosphere may save your life.

  9. Social media is a true window into the hearts and minds of the marketplace, if you only take up the tools to monitor it, participate in the conversation, and measure your results.

  10. My brother has excellent taste in shirts. (Read all about it.)

Now that you know what the book is about, you might not need to read it. But here's a thought. Give it to your boss. And her boss. It will give them a sense that this weird, shiny new toy that they don't understand has business value that can be quantified. Then you can start the conversation inside your company.

And finally - yes, there is a business application for Chatroulette, but it came out after the book was printed so it's not in the book at all. And by the time I write the next one, it'll be obvious to everybody.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Sterne

Jim Sterne is an international consultant who focuses on measuring the value of the Web as a medium for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written eight books on using the Internet for marketing, is the founding president and current chairman of the Digital Analytics Association and produces the eMetrics Summit and the Media Analytics Summit.

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