When I arrived at Veritas, with a mission to spread the social media gospel within the organization as well as outside, I began writing a weekly e-mail to my colleagues which I uncreatively called “Social Media 101.” I churned out two of them before I got sidetracked by other things. I hope this blog is now providing my colleagues with a bit of 101. (Inside message to fellow Veritasians: If you mention that you read this post, I’ll buy you a Sambuca shot at Friday’s Christmas party).

Now Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo of Vancouver’s Capulet Communications have written a 101-type ebook, which they call Getting to First Base: A Social Media Marketing Playbook. You can buy it for $30 here, but Darren was kind enough to send me a copy.

I haven’t had much time with it, but after a quick scan on the subway ride home, there are a few things I really like about it.

First, it looks like it has some great case studies — both the obvious and some more obscure ones.

Second, it is surprisingly up to date (there’s a long entry on Facebook Beacon).

Third, they specify that the social media techniques in their book don’t apply to kids under 16. That’s important, because I find that a lot of marketers still think of social media as something specifically intended for kids under 16. And that’s just wrong. In com.motion’s recent social media poll, we found that 71 per cent of Canadians 18 and up have used social media tools. Predicatably, the number was much higher (93 per cent) for those aged 18 to 34, but still surprisingly high (49 per cent) for those aged 55 and up.

(Daren and Julie’s book would probably make a nice companion to com.motion’s Social Media training seminars. Contact me for more information on those.)

Finally, check out Daren and Julie’s promotional video in which a horse on a stick (I think it’s a horse) says — and I quote — “this books sounds very interesting. Maybe we should buy it. Maybe for some of our friends at Christmas. Mmmm. yes. Because nothing says Christmas like Social Media Marketing.”

Happy holidays.

mcarthur (at) veritascanada.com

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