Sunday, April 1

Writing: How To Write A Social Media Book

Every now and again someone asks me why I don't write a social media book. I've been asked so often, in fact, that I don't have an answer that doesn't feel redundant. So maybe it's time I did it!

After all, the world needs more social media books. There are only 138,243 listed on Amazon and all of them are brilliant. Ninety percent of them have 4-star ratings or better. Some of them, usually those with the word "strategy" in the title, always earn five stars, especially when they are accompanied by at least one reviewer who says "this will be the last social media guide you will ever need."

Never mind that it is always the same guy who says that. The important thing to remember is to find the right untapped title, even if the book is virtually the same thing. So that's how I spent most of yesterday — looking for a title that would drive my content.

It didn't go well. Everything feels taken. Social Media Zen ... taken. How To Be Likeable ... liked.  Social Media Bible ... anointed. Social Media Playbook ... executed. New Rules, Revised ... third edition. Stardom in 30 Days ... out of print. Stardom In 28 Days ... the reason why. Then it happened ...

S.M.U.T. — Social Media for You Too. 
How To Write A Social Media Book.

That's right. Instead of writing a social media book, I've decided that what I really needed to write is a book about how to write a social media book. Not just any social media book — but the kind of social media book that everybody reviews and nobody actually reads!

So, what's inside my new book? Everything that you will ever need to know about social media, book writing, and life in general. I dedicate a good amount of time to writing about life in general because everyone knows the "M" in "SM" really stands for "Memoir."

It's how every social media book starts and ends. You can't be social unless you are transparent. And I'm going to be transparent right now. I haven't written anything. But you'll want to buy it anyway.

You're Only 10 Chapters Away From A Social Media Book!

Chapter 1: Foreword. The first 30 pages will be written by a real social media rock star. A social media rock star is anybody who has already written a book but the book hasn't sold more than five copies. As long as you promise to include their name on the cover "Foreword by the dude (or dudette) who wrote the last social media book nobody read," you are golden. Just remember to pay it forward.

Chapter 2: Talk About You. Who you are and what you did before social media is gold. If you can write about how you were down and out, depressed, going through personal hardship ... all the better. The point is that you have to prove you used a be a schmuck just like they are now, buying all sorts of these books.

Chapter 3: Establish Your Roots. You know the drill. Talk about how you were one of the first people to favorite "Will It Blend" on YouTube. Tell them how you hang out at Starbucks. Chuckle about the Dell Hell campaign. And mention that some Zappos employee once followed you on Twitter. You were there and being there is the same as being an expert.

Chapter 4: Have An Epiphany. Write an entire chapter on how in this weird and wonderful world online, you met some great and interesting people. Make sure to include as many names as possible because these people will be the first to review your book, even if they never see the cover.

Chapter 5: Point Out The Evil. Make a list of all the companies that aren't using social media and give them the face of evil. If evil is too strong a word for you, ignorant or old fashioned works. It doesn't really matter as long as you make the case that it's the little guys against the big guys.

Chapter 6: Talk More About You. Talk about how you started a blog, joined Twitter, jumped on Facebook, etc. This is an especially important chapter because it establishes you as an expert. It doesn't matter how many friends, fans, or followers you have. The formula for an expert is exactly how many friends, fans, or followers you have, minus 10 percent.

Chapter 7: Talk About Everybody Else. Invest a good amount of time distinguishing yourself from other social media gurus, ninjas, and rock stars. Talk about how they game the system and you do not. This establishes immediate credibility, separating you from your fellow snake oil salespeople.

Chapter 8: Make Good On Your Promise. This is where the heavy lifting really comes in to play. You have to make some stuff up that people can do right now to feel like they are making progress.

• Blog Strategy. Leave butt kiss comments on the top ranked blogs and write about them.

• Chime.in Strategy. Post a whole bunch of junk in other people's topical communities.

• Digg Strategy. Write headlines that people want, linked to the articles people don't want.

• Empire Avenue. Buy shares in people who are active and ignore everybody who isn't playing.

• Facebook Strategy. Bribe people to like you with contests and then blast them with content.

• Google+ Strategy. Post about what you do. People will love you and search engines juice+ you.

• Klout Strategy. Beg for people to give you +K and then brag about your score.

• Pinterest Strategy. Pin pics all day, every day, and repin the pins of people who like them.

• Twitter Strategy. Follow everyone on Thursday and then unfollow them all on Saturday.

• Quora Strategy. Ask your friends to write questions you want to answer and answer them.

Chapter 9: Motivate People. Rehash everything you just told them, except throw in some motivational self-help tips and quotes from famous people. Einstein is always a good one. "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds," he said. You rock star!

Chapter 10: Wrap It Up. Write about how social media changed your life and how you know it is going to change their lives too (and maybe their companies). Make sure you include all the places they can connect to you and how you now consider them kin — part of your special club and inner circle because you like people like you and they like you too.

See? I told you so. This is the perfect social media book about writing social media books! All you have to do is write 10-20 pages to fill each chapter (with the foreword being 30 pages long) and you can be the next person to have a gold mine of popularity and influence. All the cool kids know it and now you do too! A social media book is, after all, the best business card you will ever have.

April Fools! Hope you enjoy. For past lessons in social media, please see The Mushup Strategy, Bronx Zoo Influencer, SME: 14.0Clout Bellies, or almost anything labeled satire. Have a great day!

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