Books: The new business card?

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By Blaise van Hecke, publisher and co-owner of Busybird Publishing

We live in an age of sharing. It’s become both a form of self-promotion and networking.
 
Look at social media: outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, et al, allow us to tell the world the minutiae of our everyday lives. Parents post pictures of kids and boast of their accomplishments. Partners profess their love (or frustration) for one another. People tell you when they had a great day at work, or when some idiot cut them off on the road, or when they’re miserable because they have a cold.
 
We share everything, and while some of us might frown on this as a practice, it’s only going to become increasingly prominent as the next generation adopts this as their standard, and more and more outlets become available.
 
Ten years ago it was MySpace. Then Facebook came along. Then Twitter. There are new ones popping up all the time. Those who are successful are those who have learnt to complement the existing avenues, rather than supplant them. It’s also instructive that people need to get in front of social networking to capitalise on their benefits.
 
Businesses have done this to an extent with Facebook pages. LIKE them on Facebook to learn more about them, and get their updates – unless you’re one of those people who LIKES indiscriminately, and then disregards notifications of updates.
 
Still, we might catch an update in our newsfeed. These can serve a threefold purpose:
 
  1. To inform consumers of that business’s existence
  2. To interact with consumers
  3. To advertise with consumers
Continued...

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  • Justin B. on 2014-08-25 4:44:15 PM

    I can see the merit and value in this, but would this be successful with a generation that is more interested in reading a headline than a news article? There will certainly be a sub-section of the population who will read the book, but I don't know how wide the reach will be. Also, at least for me, I only want to read about companies I'm interested in. I would read about what Starbucks is doing. I don't really care what Grand & Toy is doing for example.

  • Krista M on 2014-08-26 2:14:46 PM

    Goodlife Fitness, a large fitness corporation in Canada, employed this strategy. The book 'Living the Good Life' (which is freely given away in all of their clubs) was written by the CEO David Patchell Evans and chronicles his life and the story of Goodlife Fitness.

    As a member of Goodlife, I have read the book and actually did feel a deeper connection with the company after doing so. The book outlined their beliefs, values, goals, offered personal wisdom from the CEO, and made you care more about the company. I agree that books are a great way to engage your customers (if you can write a good one!)

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