There are all kinds of books and experts who will show you how to use social media and your community to promote your product. Certainly product promotion has changed, the power of advertising has diminished and leveraging the interconnected nature of your user community is a must for a social media launch.
Rather than generate another in a long line of posts of how to do this, I thought I point to a great example of someone doing this right now. Seth Godin is promoting his new book, “Linchpin“, and is leveraging his considerable network to get the word out.
In advance of the launch of his latest book, Seth Godin asked the followers on his blog to contribute $30 or more to the Acumen Fund and in return he would send the first 3,000 contributors an early copy to read and review. I signed up for my copy and should be receiving it this week.
This is a brilliant promotion and leverages grass roots support to get the word out about his book in contrast to traditional costly marketing campaigns. Now, Seth Godin is one of the top bloggers on the net and has a huge following, but here are some things we can all learn about his approach to generating buzz for his new book:
- Begin with your fans – Seth began by posting this promotion on his own blog. This is a collection of the people most predisposed to already value what Seth has to say because he knows that they are already reading his blog.
- Use scarcity to create value and generate a quick response – By limiting this promotion to 3,000 copies of his book, Seth simultaneously created a value in being one of the 3,000 and generated an immediate response. By responding quickly, I knew that I would be one of 3,000 people who had a chance to read this book early and post my review. Because there is relative scarcity, I knew that my review would have value to my own blog.
- Make sure participants are invested – Requiring participants to contribute to the Acumen Fund made sure that the people who received the early copy of the book valued it and would be more likely to read and write an advance review of the book. A free promotion would likely yield watered down results.
- Ask participants to talk about your product – The goal in all of this is to promote your product of course. Make it explicit. Seth Godin specifically asked the people who participated to read and review his book in advance of its release.
- Connect participants with each other – Seth Godin and Acumen fund set up an online community for everyone who participated in this promotion and used it to generate anticipation for the book as well as promotion of the Acumen charity.
- Communicate regularly in advance of the review – I have received regular e-mails both from Seth Godin’s team and the Accumen community that remind me about the upcoming delivery of the book so I have set aside the time to review it in my calendar.
I am looking forward to receiving, reading and reviewing Linchpin this week. That said, I think that there is as much to learn from the way Seth is promoting this book as what might be in the book itself. Translate some of these techniques into your own products and think about how they might be used to engage your community in promoting your latest product.
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