Zach Everson and I sat down with Erik Deckers for a candid chat about his naughty-titled book, just a couple of hours before he’d be speaking about it at The Olmsted for a Louisville Ad Fed luncheon. Where’d you get your start in social media? How’d you meet Jason Falls? Did you meet on Twitter? Those are all questions I asked, but what I really wanted was the heart of the message buried underneath the bullshit on the cover.
“What do you say to the people who claim you can’t write a book on social media, because it’s outdated before it reaches press?” I asked.
Deckers said the last guy who asked him that question hadn’t so much as even touched his new book.
“The tools I require today use the same principles I used 15 years ago. The truth is, the principles of social media don’t really change,” says Deckers.
If you want to read the how-to books that are out-of-date overnight, they’re out there.
“A book that’s about the importance of building relationships will still be true years from now,” he said.
It was about 2007 when Deckers says he was writing for smallerindiana.com and began using his social media accounts to promote his column and then-upcoming book Twitter Marketing for Dummies.
Now he’s got a new book, with a different message and a different audience. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on how to apply social media to your business model, No Bullshit Social Media by Erik Deckers and Jason Falls is not for you. If you’re not yet in the social media fray and you need some convincing to take the plunge, this might be your next read.
During his presentation at The Olmsted, Erik presented several arguments of social media naysayers and explained them away using amusing anecdotes, dispelling the myths as “bullshit.” One of my favorite examples was in response to the popular argument that SM requires you to spend a lot of time engaging and joining conversations to be successful.
Some people are too busy to invest a lot of time in a social media campaign. So Deckers told the story of a busy real estate agent who invests a measly $400 over the course of 4 months on targeted Facebook advertisements. As a result, the social media ads reached his target audience quickly and he sold a $1.2 million home to a wandering Facebook user. In the words of Adam Savage, “myth busted.”
Deckers told several stories at the luncheon that are detailed in his book, addressing other concerns like the ability to sell on and measure social media. Other topics discussed in the book include protecting your reputation, building community, ROI and customer service.
Using social media to provide customer service is very important. Like Erik says, “You can’t see a phone call.”
Customers’ issues are resolved all the time via the telephone, but other consumers never get to see that side of the communication. Social media not only provides visible results that appear favorable to other consumers, but it provides a measurable customer service experience.
I could ramble on for hours about all of the topics in Deckers’ and Falls’ book and how I agree with them, but I have to remain true to the message at the heart of the bull. I’m from a generation that already gets it and this book is for the people that don’t. My generation is the one that is going to carry the social media movement beyond the foreseeable future. The Baby Boomers are more like the generation that are in denial because it wasn’t their idea and too many are hell bent on proving that their traditional ways of doing business are just peachy.
What this book can show you is that when it comes to social media, all of the “traditional” ways of doing business are still very vital to the way SM business is conducted, no bullshit. You still have to create and maintain relationships, share information in an ongoing dialogue, provide personalized customer service and have something to offer one another.
I give major props to the Louisville Ad Fed for getting Erik here. An Ad Fed spokeswoman actually said before introducing Erik that members were clamoring for more info on social media. However, judging from the questions members had for Erik following his presentation, many are still very far from “getting it.” If perhaps you could eliminate words from your vocabulary like “blog thingy” and “twitters,” that would be a start.
In the meantime, older generations need to take some advice from Erik: “Let the tech geeks win every once in a while.”
No one is asking them to abandon traditional business practices, but rather to supplement them. You can apply age-old business fundamentals and let social media do the rest of the running for you. It will always continue to be about the relationships and building trust. Only then can people believe what you say and allow you to sell to them.
If you’re still not sold after reading this book, we’re going to leave you behind. No bullshit.
Here are some links:
You can also follow me on Twitter @mjwindle.
Photo courtesy of: No Bullshit Social Media by Erik Deckers and Jason Falls