Splitting the 2010 Social Media Guide

We’re in the “thrashing” period for revising The Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media.

There’s even a possible title change. What do you think of “Facebook Sucks…And Other Social Media Truths.”

A big change we’re looking at is splitting the guide into 2 parts. A basics section and one that’s more advanced. The section with the basics gets delivered completely online.

This is the part with all the information about creating profiles, the illustrations and graphics, and even the lists of sites. It’s almost half of the current guide, and there is more information we want to add. The idea is to make it a resource for anyone getting started with social media, and who needs to incorporate it with an existing local business marketing strategy.

The fun part about this piece is that it is almost free. We’re thinking about asking for an e-mail address. That’s hard because I’d much rather have you come read this blog and make comments than send out a monthly newsletter. The chance to have a conversation through this blog is much more attractive.

Instead, by “almost free” I’m thinking to ask you for a promise. The promise is that when someone asks you about getting started with social media, you give them the free book. You can just e-mail them the file.

That gives everyone easy access to the basic information needed, and I get the satisfaction of having my ideas circulate.

Then there’s the book with more advanced information. This is what goes into book stores and on Amazon.

This is where we get into strategies, case studies, and marketing integration.

There’s also quite a bit of information I’ve collected from Armand Morin, the folks at Early to Rise, Bill Glazer and Dan Kennedy, and lots of other smart marketing folks that’s being put together to go with the book. We’re sorting through what to include, and that’s a bit of work. (It’s all part of the “thrashing” process.)

You see, when I include a recorded interview from Armand Morin, I also want to include an explanation or commentary about how to use it. That might be some bullet points about the key points in the interview, or maybe showing how the interview ties into some element of the book. This is all stuff we’ll have “thrashed out” by the end of next week.

Then it’s on to the research and writing! Yippee!!

I never used to like research in school, but I like it now. Maybe that’s because what I’m researching is useful and applicable. That definitely makes it interesting.

Oh, another thing that splitting the guide makes possible is regular updates of the site listings. We can set it up to update the page rankings once a month, or however often we want. It also means we can put in a submission form so you can add sites as you discover them. That helps keep everyone up to date.

This is one of those things that’s nice to have. And as a site rises in the rankings, I can easily add a description of the target market and cool features.

So what do you think? After all, that’s really why I’m writing this post. The 2010 version has been a good start, and social media continues to evolve. So should the next version of the guide, right?

What do you think of taking the “basics section” and just making it free for everyone? Will that help business owners get started with social media?

More importantly, will you help me spread it around so everyone knows it exists?

Thanks for reading. We’ll be thrashing out the changes for two weeks, so you’re most welcome to chime in with suggestions, requests or snowballs. (I don’t know…I just wanted a third thing.)

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