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Suppose you met an experienced marketing consultant who promised to give you one-hour assignments five days a week for three months to teach you a brand-new marketing channel.

And the result was a detailed marketing plan for that channel.

Suppose the marketing channel was social media? And suppose he only charged you $30?

Would you accept his offer? I thought you might.

The consultant is Dave Evans, a communications expert who now focuses on using social media to market goods and services. His 400-page book is Social Media Marketing an Hour a Day. Here’s a comprehensive review of some of the main tips from this excellent book.

This book could be used as the textbook for a college course on social media marketing. If you think of it and use it that way, you should be an expert social media marketer by the time you “graduate.”

If you have a traditional advertising or marketing background, you will love this book. You don’t have to abandon your other marketing channels!

“The social web is not an advertising platform per se, but is rather an adjunct to what you’re doing elsewhere,” Evans says. “Use TV, radio, direct mail, sports, and event marketing to seed the conversations, to set the expectations and to create the beginnings of a demand. Then tap social media and the conversations generated by direct experience with your brand, product or service to reinforce your messages based on the genuine interest and comments of others.”

Part 1: The Foundation of Social Media

The book is divided into four parts. In the first part of the book, Evans talks about traditional “interruptive” advertising. The advertiser “pushes” product information out to a mass audience and hopes people notice it. Ads have to interrupt you in order to get your attention.

But on the social web, spam filters and popup blockers show that consumers are getting tired of interruptive ads. They still want product information, but only when they need it.

Evans talks about the “purchase funnel, where consumers first become aware of a product/service, then they consider buying it and then they buy it. For the first time in advertising history, people who bought a product/service can give their opinion of it to a total stranger on the other side of the planet who is considering buying it!

In other words, that post-purchase opinion feeds back on the consideration phase that other consumers are in. So before I even buy a product, I can see what people all over the world think about it.

Part 2: Prepare for Social Marketing

Evans then introduces marketers who know nothing about social media to all of the basic tools such as blogs, wikis, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Delicious, RSS, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. You must use each tool and answer several questions about it. Evans even gives you worksheets in an appendix for each assignment.

He gives more detail about the effect of social feedback on the purchase funnel. He introduces BlogSearch, BlogPulse, Planet Feedback and other metrics you can use to measure the online conversations about your product/service. He talks about creating touchpoint maps. He tells you to find customers who can be evangelists for your product or service.

And you start rethinking how you can use social media to promote your product/service. You cannot control your message and reputation in social media, but you can influence it. That’s your primary job.

“Your customers are already talking about you,” says Evans. “Marketers, ignore your invitation to participate in the conversation at your own peril. This is your chance to be part of it and to influence the outcome through your participation.”

Part 3: Social Media Channels

This is the “meatiest” part of the book. Evans describes in detail:

  • Social platforms such as wikis, Facebook, MySpace and other online communities
  • Social content such as blogs, microblogs, photos, podcasts and videos
  • Social interactions such as email, SMS/texting, status updates and event notices

And he encourages you to experiment with all of these tools, as he has throughout the book. He even encourages you to subscribe to his FriendFeed stream, which might not be a bad idea if you want to stay in touch with your social media marketing mentor.

Part 4: Complete Your Plan

Evans talks more about metrics in this part. He describes Blogsearch, BlogPulse, Cymfony, Techrigy, DIYDashboard and Google Alerts. You can even track your competitors and suppliers.

He talks about audience, influence, engagement, loyalty, action, content metrics, relevance metrics, impact metrics and ROI. It may be difficult to link a conversation about your company in the blogosphere with a visit to your website, but you can make an educated guess.

The final chapter encourages you to define your opportunity, select your channels, select your metrics and write and present your plan to corporate executives.

Yes, this book was written for Fortune 500 companies who have a sales and marketing department, an IT department and maybe even a chief marketing officer (CMO).

But a sole proprietor may still benefit from this book, if he or she can find the time to spend three months in the process! Here’s what Evans says about that: “The social web is all about relationships, and relationships take time—and information—to build.”

He scatters social media resources throughout the book. Fortunately, he includes a list of all the social media sites he mentions in the book in an appendix. And he summarizes the main points at the end of each chapter.

“The Internet and the communities that ride on it [have] become the ‘first place’ for a whole lot of people,” he says. “As a marketer, you really need to be there. The social web, used correctly, is all about what your community of supporters can do to help you build your business.”

Social Media Examiner gives this book a 5-star rating.

Related article on Social Media Examiner: 3 New Social Media Studies Worth Reading

Have you read this book? Do employ some of these tactics? I welcome your comments below!

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