Aaron Goldman: Social Media Lessons from Google

Aaron_GoldmanAaron Goldman is the author of “Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google” and this post is on day one of his Googley Lessons blog tour celebrating the book launch. A chapter summary of the book is available on SlideShare and our review is at the end of the post.

In my book, I share 20 “Googley Lessons” to help marketers better engage their customers and prospects. While my lessons aren’t specific to any one marketing channel, a few of them have obvious implications for social media. One in particular that I’d like to focus on is Chapter 5: Be Where Your Audience Is.

Google doesn’t make you go to Google to Google. Google brings Google to you. Your desktop. The search box on thousands of sites across the Web. Your phone. You name it. If you’re connected to the Internet, Google is there.

Google didn’t become ubiquitous by waiting around for people to find out about its product and come to its domain to use it. Google took its product to every domain. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the product was pretty darn good too.

Therein lies the lesson for marketers. Don’t expect people to come to your brand website. No matter how good your product is, you have to seek out opportunities to put your product and your brand in an environment where your audience is spending time AND willing to interact with you.

The killer case study for “being where your audience is” was the 2008 Barack Obama U.S. presidential campaign. In my book, I go into detail about the “Hub-and-Spoke” approach that was taken to bring Obama and his message to his audience — which was everyone above voting age in the U.S. This meant setting up BarackObama.com as the hub with all the requisite blogging, sharing, and fundraising tools but, more importantly, setting up spokes within Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other outlets to help engage key constituents and ladder up their support. The campaign also deployed extensive email and SMS campaigns with customized messages for each audience segment.


I’ve tried to put the Hub-and-Spoke model into play while promoting my book and this blog tour is the culmination of those efforts. My audience is marketers. Wherever you are, I’m trying to be. I can’t expect you to find out about my book all by yourself. Nor can I expect you to leave the Social Times to visit GoogleyLessons.com (my hub). Instead, I’ll just give you a small dose of my Googley Lessons and a feel for my tone in the hopes that you’ll want to engage further when the time is right.

If the time is right for you, check out this screencast to see my Hub-and-Spoke approach in action. And then, by all means, please do engage further. Or, as I say in my book, get Googley!

There is no denying Google’s enviable success holds lessons for marketers. It’s easy for the reader to open the book at random and, within a few pages, pick up an insight or be informed by the experience of a major brand. Goldman presents a payload of ideas from a vast array of industry insiders and observers – not just from Google’s history. There are no deep Google secrets revealed and some of the connections to Google feel like a stretch. Though the book is a bit disjoint, it’s a generous compendium of anecdotes and advice compiled and analyzed by a sharp marketer and clever writer.