Robert Lavigne reviews The Social Media Business Equation by Eve Mayer Orsburn #DouglasAdams60th

English: 42 as an Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode

Context is Everything. Always factor it into your Social Media Business Equation.

It is kinda fitting that I am writing this Life@42 blog post on the 60th Anniversary of the birth of Douglas Adams. While Douglas Adams was busy writing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, he was often quoted as saying “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

I first read Eve Mayer Orsburn’s The Social Media Business Equation shortly after blogging How the Brantford Library understands “The Social Media Business Equation” by Eve Mayer Orsburn. Since then I have read it three times before actually sitting down and writing this blog post.

The question of deadlines is an interesting element of business. Do you focus on imposed timelines or focus on quality deliverables. As a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), I probably should lean towards timelines, but I consistently lean towards the agile side and prefer to focus on incremental deliverables and consistent quality over imposed, often arbitrary, timelines.

So while I was reading and re-reading The Social Media Business Equation, I made a point of posting regular entries on my Social Business Mentor blog until I was ready to write this review. One of the topics I recently talked about on that blog was the re-purposing of content. This is a key message also discussed in Eve Mayer Orsburn’s book. You can read more about my take on re-purposing content by reading Your Key Inbound Marketing Strategy is Re-Purposed In-Flow Content. Having a Strong Engaged Tribe Doesn’t Hurt Either.

I have now found the inspiration and angle I wanted to take in writing my review of Eve Mayer Orsburn’s take on Social Media, Social Networking, and Social Business. That inspiration came from the 60th anniversary of the birth of the man who is an inspiration for the title of this Social Novel. Douglas Adams (RIP DNA) formulated that The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything was 42. The very nature of the content of that statement and the story behind it’s context makes up a key element of my core statement that “Content is Free. Context is where the value is.

So let’s get down to the review shall we. Let us discuss the hidden gems that are found in Eve Mayer Orsburn’s The Social Media Business Equation. It really comes down to this. All the equations in the world do not matter unless you factor in the context of your target audience. This applies to traditional marketing, inbound marketing and social media marketing. That valuable context is only achieved when you actually listen, engage and provide targeted value to your audience.

In The Social Media Business Equation, Eve Mayer Orsburn makes it clear that you can no longer broadcast your message. You need to be part of the conversation that is occurring all around you in the vast world of Social Media. You need to communicate and often re-learn how to communicate as we have gotten lazy in our pursuits to push our “buy, buy, buy” messages. You should be engaging not only with those who share your space, but pay special attention to those who will value your content and eventually purchase your product or service. This cannot be achieved by having one silo of your business engaging in Social Media. One department does not make your business, nor should it be the only voice being heard or ear listening. More importantly by leveraging your “crusading customers” the effort to spread your message is reduced exponentially.

In The Social Media Business Equation, Eve Mayer Orsburn formulates that it is made up of 20% Informing, 20% Entertaining, 40% Interacting, and 20% Converting to Business. This plays very much into the standard 80/20 rule often found in successful models. In her equation, 80% of the time is spent on engaging with the potential client, while only 20% is spent on converting that lead into a sale.

So in that respect, I fully support her take on how businesses should focus their efforts in using Social Media as a tool for lead generation and sale conversion. She further indicates that most Social Networking efforts should be 80% Reward and 20% Work. Overall, the Pareto principle is in full effect throughout Eve Mayer Orsburn’s book.

There is also one other aspect to The Social Media Business Equation by Eve Mayer Orsburn that leverages the Pareto principle. The first 80% of her book is comprised of a mix of insights and examples (18 valuable use case examples in total). The other 20% of her book is 50 pages of acknowledgements to those who have contributed and engaged with her since she ventured into the world of Social Media. My alter ego @RLavigne42 is actually listed on page 177 of her book in the acknowledgment section.

Some may question why she dedicated 20% of her book to acknowledgements. Well think about it, that is 35,000 people who will go to the end of her book to see if they have been mentioned. That is 35,000 people who upon finding their twitter handle, will make a point of mentioning it to their Social Network. The Social Media Business Equation will now spread through the social graph of that first tier and expand to a network that would not be aware of this book. That 20% is the part of the equation that involves converting the effort of the 80% of work into further sales. When all is said and done, that is the nature of Eve Mayer Orsbun’s equation for Social Media success and eventual ROI (Amplify and Magnify through Engagement).

So for those of you wondering why there is a barcode at the beginning of this post. That barcode equates to 42. That barcode was tattooed on my lower neck on October 10, 2010 (10/10/10). For those of you that understand binary, 101010 is 42. When all is said and done a barcode means nothing without the context that it is associated with.

All equations should factor in context. Never ever forget that.

Take Care,

Robert Lavigne, Your Social Business Mentor

If you want to see the video of my 101010 42 Barcode tattoo, read 

Tomorrow is a Brave New World!

Tomorrow I am turning 42.

A 42+1 Social Business Screencast on Social Media with Tim Burrows of the Toronto Police

On February 29, 2012, I kicked off the Life@42 Social Business interview series appropriately called 42+1. Using the power of Google Hangout and Skype, I would reach out to my extended network and bring in remote guests to the Social Business Hangout. This weekly meetup is my opportunity to provide Social Business mentoring to the Small and Medium-sized businesses based out of Brantford, Ontario. The new 42+1 Social Business Screencast will occasionally compliment the ongoing Live Podcast that is part of the Social Business Hangout.

To kick off the series, I could think of no one more deserving than Tim Burrows of the Toronto Police. Tim played an instrumental role in the development and implementation of their Social Media strategy.

In this interview, Tim recounts the humble beginnings of what has become a benchmark for Social Media programs within the Police community. Tim shares his insights on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, foursquare, analytics, community and above all else engagement. It was an absolute honour to have Tim Burrows on the inaugural 42+1 Social Business Screencast.

Take Care,

Robert Lavigne, Your Social Business Mentor