November 1, 2010

Social media guide supports a cause

Reshma Shah

Goizueta Business School’s Reshma Shah teams up with co-author Jamie Turner to offer a guide to social media and profits.

Their new book, “How to Make Money with Social Media: An Insider’s Guide on Using New and Emerging Media to Grow Your Business,” explores the do’s and don’ts of emerging media.  However, Shah and Turner want to not only raise awareness of the new way of doing business, they are also raising money and awareness for a cause – through A School Bell Rings, a nonprofit foundation they started to improve education in developing countries.

The marketing experts are offering first-edition, autographed copies of their book to anyone who donates $40 to Funds raised will go to build schools and educational programs for children in countries like Nicaragua, Tanzania and India. “We were excited about the launch of our new book, but we also wanted to kick things off by giving back to children in need,” explains Turner, an Atlantan who is CEO of 60 Second Communications.

The authors are putting their expertise to work to raise funds, using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the blogging community to build awareness. In their book, Turner and Shah highlight the five ways Fortune 500 companies are using social media effectively, offering examples in branding, e-commerce, research, customer retention and lead generation. Shah, assistant professor in the practice of marketing and consultant for companies like GE and The Coca-Cola Company, encourages marketers to familiarize themselves with each social media tool, and to think tactically about their goals and outcomes. 

For example, a post on Twitter or Facebook is not only about awareness (branding); it can also give marketers valuable information about a customer (research), point users toward a purchase or promotion (e-commerce), or make them part of a larger sales funnel (customer retention/lead generation).

“The only way to launch a social media campaign is to think about how it fits into your overall marketing plan and what you hope to accomplish through your marketing communications efforts,” says Shah. “Unless you are a startup company, it’s rare that your social media efforts will stand alone from your other marketing efforts.”

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