I am rereading a book I read a year ago. The book is UnMarketing by Scott Stratten. Scott Stratten is a self professed Twitterholic, having built a huge following there, I think it is fair to call him a thought leader on the platform. His book details numerous examples of Twitter successes and major fails and he has chronicled many more examples as screenshots and photos on his Facebook page. While Twitter is his real home, Stratten’s book touches on other networks and good etiquette and best practices in Social Media in general. I first became aware of him because other people on Twitter were talking about him, which led me to discover he had a book.
UnMarketing is not only the book’s title but also Stratten’s Twitter handle: @unmarketing. The idea of UnMarketing is defined right on the book’s cover: “Stop Marketing. Start engaging.”
This is a concept I take seriously in my use of social media both personally an professionally. Social media’s potential is so great but often times we use it like a dull knife. We forget about forging connections and building relationships and instead just spout and post hoping someone is paying attention. Stratten’s book and his work, I believe, are about getting us to sharpen the knife and to be effective in being “social” with social media.
One idea from the book that really resonates with me is the idea of building up your social currency.
“Think of it this way: You wouldn’t open a business bank account and ask to withdraw $5,000 without depositing anything.”
The emphasis here is that you have to “invest in something before withdrawing”. Stratten says he sent 10,000 tweets before trying to pitch something to his followers. And then when he did pitch something to them they were hungry for it, they trusted the source and they valued what he was offering. I think he has nailed this idea on the head. If you offer value to the people who follow you, you engage them and this is half the battle maybe even 76% of it. It’s hard to cut through the clutter these days; as a producer of content, the promoter of a cause, or a marketer you need to give me a reason to care.