Every business & marketing book that I’ve read over the past several years have had some different meaning to me and the latest book by Geoff Livingston is no exeception. “now is gone” has been named as a book to read & is widely considered as a primer for executives & entrepeneurs to learn social media marketing.Â now is goneÂ is available online via Amazon.com (list price $14.95) and other online bookstores.
What I’ve enjoyed reading about this book are the real-life examples of how companies are effectively using social media to help promote their product to their community. And I do mean “community” because the book puts it very succinctly that it is no longer your target audienceÂ since marketing isn’t about one-way conversations. In the world of social media marketing, it’s two-way dialogs and thus must be a community.
The title of the book can be somewhat of a misnomer if you don’t think about it, but after reading it, I can say that it’s aptly titled. Something that Geoff Livingston mentions is that companies are always trying to control their brand and message. They want to make sure that they control what people are saying. As I said before, it’s all about the community now, not the target audience. Livingston writes that the message is no longer controlled by the company. Traditional means aren’t effective and if companies think they can influence people through social media the same way as before, they’re wrong. Their “now” is gone. It’s a whole new ballgame.
As with all good books, now is goneÂ takes you along on a journey through the beginning of how to plan out your social media strategy. It gives you the background of what social media is. Then it helps give you a “checklist” of sorts on whether you’re truly ready to dive off the deep end. Next you’ll be able to focus on promoting your efforts & products to the community in the right wayÂ as opposed to employing traditional tactics – they just don’t work anymore in the digital realm. Lastly, now is goneÂ will explore the future of promotion & social media.
Earlier I said this book was considered as a primer, and it’s true. I’ve read a variety of different marketing/web books in the past couple of years, but in retrospect, while they were all well written and some of the best books I would recommend, now is goneÂ takes on an approach of looking at the macro view instead of a micro view. Rather than focusing on blogging & communication or personalities & branding or market research, Geoff Livingston takes it all into perspective and skims the surface on everything. Read this book for great examples, current issues, and what to do. Once you’ve gained the fundamental insight, thenÂ you can build on it and read other books or even move forward with a social media strategy. This is the social media marketing 101 course. Don’t you dare try and skip out of this class.
Social Media Club founder Chris Heuer is referred in now is goneÂ as having coined the phrase “participation marketing”. Isn’t that pretty much what we’re all doing online these days? Participating? now is goneÂ will teach you that it’s alright to engage your community and chat with them, but don’t talk down to them or completely ignore them. There are plenty of case studies that will help illustrate this point & much more tips and information in the appendix. Co-author Brian Solis wrote in the introduction a helpful quote about participation:
By listening, reading, and participating, corporate marketing will become smarter & more approachable than ever before. This is how we humanize brands, create loyalty, and ear customers’ business.
That’s it…that’s what’s changing the world of marketing and communications. If you want to reach out to your customers community, then make them feel that they’re appreciated. When dealing with the online realm, remember that you no longer have the advantage in the conversation. Your users will have control over your products future. Brian Solis says it best: “Engage or die.”
Are you doing that?