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Explaining the basics of local and social marketing to clients and prospects is a tough task for companies, which might come off as patronizing. Why not give them a book?

A couple of years ago, Yodle CEO Court Cunningham wrote Local Online Advertising for Dummies, which did a great job explaining local advertiser options. Now, Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman has done the same for social media. Goodman calls it: “Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World.

As industry analysts, we look to Goodman for all kinds of insights into SMBs at every level. This book is more geared toward the basics of the engagement marketing cycle — as a means of managing good word of mouth. Goodman defines the cycle as providing the “Wow! Experience”; enticing customers to stay in touch; and engaging customers via social media. She emphasizes that SMBs really need to develop nuance when they are applying messaging via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and G+. Each has different strengths.

While a lot of SMBs don’t think they really have much to say — a real problem in working with them for social media — Goodman provides insights into possible subjects, and case studies on how and when to apply social media techniques, including discussions, promotions, events, polls/surveys, shared information, and news and announcements.

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