Archives for posts with tag: instagram

Writing an accessible and thorough book about a complex and everchanging subject, such as social media, is a daunting prospect – particularly when your audience is a niche one such as veterinary medicine. Dr. Caitlin DeWilde; however, has done just that.

With the look and feel of a textbook, but the format a “Dummies” or “Idiots how to” book, Social Media and Marketing for Veterinary Professionals is a how to guide to all the major Social Media platforms and to all the tasks needing to be understood for someone who is not a marketing professional or even someone that interested in social media or reviews.

With chapters dedicated to each of the major platforms making up the first half of the book this can at times feel redundant; however, the thoroughness will be welcomed by those feeling out of their depth in a brand-new field and the dedication to not making assumptions is more than admirable. The second half of the book is a much more interesting read for the existing user, touching on issues such as retargeting (when online ads seem to follow you around the internet), review bombing, return on investment (ROI), and general advertising strategies both online and in print ads.

Filled with footnotes, the book is impeccably researched as would expect from someone with Dr. DeWilde’s reputation as “The Social DVM.” The index is a little thin, but it at least has one and it covers most of the things that one is likely to need to find in a hurry. What is a surprising addition is the over 80 QR Codes that link directly to an online resource for forms and other digital content. It is a little disappointing that the QR codes only take the user to a menu structure that the reader then must navigate through to get the required content. But this is a minor quibble and is a great use of a technology that is often used and abused. The fact that these online resources exist at all, and are included in the price of this volume, more than makes up for any navigation quibbles.

While I waded through all 200 odd and large format pages in three or four sittings, this is actually a book to tackle one chapter at a time, or to dip into as required. Growing your knowledge with your own experimentation and reading. While there is some building on what has come before, the chapters generally stand on their own and therefore can be used as a reference book if so desired.

Whether it be new managers suddenly saddled with a topic they know nothing about, staff members who have only ever used social media for their own personal networks, or those looking to build their own personal brands online there is now a guide for you with no translations from other industries required. To the vast majority of its readers, the subject of this book will always be a side interest to their main passion – whether it be veterinary management or veterinary medicine. We don’t often get resources geared towards niche areas within other niche areas. It is great to see this one.

Dr. DeWilde has literally written the book on using social media as a veterinary professional.

And it’s a good one.

age of infuence
I’ve been following Neal, as a voice on marketing and social media, for easily 10 years.

When he announced the opportunity to buy his new book in advance, receive a signed copy, and be mentioned in the acknowledgments for to helping to support the book’s creation; I took him up on his offer – LinkedIn paying off once again.

You can find me mentioned, and neatly bisected, between page ix and x.

Fame at last.

I delve into this minutia because Neal’s book deals with, and makes the case for, influence and influencers. In how to both leverage and engage influencers in a successful business relationship, but also on how to be a successful influencer in the first place.

Influencer Marketing has received rather a bad wrap outside of the marketing world – particularly by the business community. This is mainly due to news stories of millennials traveling the world, and expecting hundreds of dollars in free goods and services in return for a good word on social media of dubious value. It is also not helped by stories of influencers using their networks to “take revenge” on businesses they feel slighted by; or who have spurned their advances.

“The Age of Influence” makes the case for influencer marketing to actually be an extension of normal social media engagement, taken to its next logical level. Those of us that have our own brands, and brands that we work for, on social know that our own personal posts are treated much more favorably by algorithm gods than brand business posts. It’s a “pay to play” world.

Influencer marketing leverages the personal voice for business purposes. Where “The Age of Influence” really succeeds is in showing the reader that influencer marketing should really be about the relationship between the brand, the influencer, and their larger social following. That the pinnacle of influencer marketing is not a paid Instagram post by someone famous. The pinnacle is rather the partnership, on a long-term basis, between a fan of a product or service, who also has their own fans who trusts the message because of the messenger. Trust is based on authenticity.

There is, of course, a tendency for brands to want to control their message, voice, and overall look. This is normal. As marketing professionals, we spend a lot of money, time, and energy into creating a look and personality for a brand that we are happy with. However, to do this with influencers is to stifle their natural creativity and voice that made them influencers in the first place. Likewise, influencers are not content creation adjuncts to the marketing department. Working with influencers, whose followings come in all shapes and sizes, is a partnership that could be allowing them to interview staff, get a sneak peek at a product or service, or giving discount codes, or products, to followers. The more successful the influencer, the more like working with a traditional media company the relationship becomes. But at its core, when influencer marketing is successful it is about a relationship where both parties are happy and getting what they want out of the collaboration.

There are significant legal issues with paid collaborations between influencers and brands. And while “The Age of Influence” does not deal with this in depth, it does warn of the pitfalls and make it clear that these are issues to address with any campaign that must be taken seriously.

“The Age of Influence” is much more than a “how to” manual of influencer marketing; it is a treatise on how influence is actually about boosting engagement and having a more dynamic relationship between customer and brand. How in its earliest of stages, influencer marketing is indistinguishable for just good social media engagement. As Neal states in the book, don’t get too focused on the tools; but the tools to get started are all in “The Age of Influence.”

If you feel that influencer marketing is not for you; “The Age of Influence” begs to differ, and if your interest is already there then it is the all-important bible.

IMG_4552 small

%d bloggers like this: