Amy Jo MartinWhich book on social media should a marketing director put on the desks of his or her company’s chief executive officer? Until recently, I would have recommended David Meerman Scott’s World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas as the must-read text for any CEO resisting social media.

Now it’s time to persuade your top executives to pick up Amy Jo Martin‘s new Renegades Write The Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate – one of the most inspiring real-world books on social media I’ve read.

(Source: Young Entrepreneur)

“Renegades Write the Rules” Book Review

Early in Renegades Write The Rules, Amy Jo tells the story of how she was introduced to movie star/wrestler Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson during an Ultimate Fighting Championship match and set him up with his first Twitter account. Martin explains how she overcame the Rock’s concerns about mixing his private life with his professional life online – and helped transform the actor into a Twitter sensation with 4.3 million followers.

Not only does Amy Jo provide a road map for convincing unconvinced CEOs of the value of two-way conversations on Facebook and Twitter, she reveals the inside details of her “digital brand audit” for The Rock. You’ll learn how her agency categorized audience targets for The Rock’s social media engagement, from females who like to see the actor without a shirt on to action fans who hunger for inside gossip from movie sets. She then digs deeper by explaining the “value bucket” strategy that provides The Rock with guidance on the social content of his tweets, her thinking behind The Rock’s “hide and tweet” ticket stunt to promote the “Fast Five” movie, and how she helped The Rock gain 9,400 new followers in one 30-minute period through a global #RockTalk engagement with fans.

4 Social Media Marketing Tips

But wait – your CEO and the brand you represent aren’t as sexy as a worldwide celebrity? What’s remarkable about Renegades Write The Rules is that Amy Jo makes the lessons she’s learned working with celebs like The Rock applicable to anyone – even if your CEO isn’t a 6-foot, 5-inch, 265-pound muscled God of a global movie star. Among Amy Jo’s takeaways:

  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail: “Sometimes it’s not about being the best or the smartest, it’s about being the first to try and the first to learn from failure.”
  2. Be Brave Enough To Say No: “The people you choose to do business with will be the most important decision you make. Those you say no to are just as important as who you say yes to.”
  3. Be Ready To Pivot: “A five-degree shift changes your entire trajectory.”
  4. Renegades Get To Define What Drives Them: “You can have it all; you just have to define what your “all is” and accept that it is always evolving.”

Renegades Write the Rules doesn’t provide many tactical lessons – you won’t find out how to optimize a YouTube clip for video search, or what time of day is best to publish a blog post. Instead, Renegades Write The Rules shares something more valuable – an easy-to-digest view of online strategy, delivered with clarity and irreverence.

More Favorite Parts from Amy Jo Martin’s Page-Turner

Of special value to CMOs is Amy Jo’s recounting of how her agency, Las Vegas-based Digital Royalty, helped turn Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsiehs book Delivering Happiness into a best seller. Her campaign for the online shoe mogul involved live-stream “Virtual Happy Hour” events, a “Very Happy People” blogger evangelist program, Facebook and Twitter dialogues and the creation of book club launch parties from New York to Peru. “The movement was less about encouraging people to purchase the book and more about creating a conversation . . . that people would gravitate to because of the value it offered,” says Amy Jo. “We trusted that those who were truly affected would happily buy the book.”

Tony Hsieh's Virtual Happy Hour


Amy Jo explains why Kobe Bryant’s tentative foray into Twitter was so lame, versus why Shaquille O’Neal’s use of social media (with now 7 million Twitter followers and 3.3 million Facebook fans) is so successful. You may be intrigued by her insider’s account into how Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Dana White uses Twitter to promote his martial arts juggernaut. What marketer won’t cheer to read how she won over White, who resisted using social media at all (“Listen, fans don’t give a f—k what I’m doing all day,” said White. “It’s boring sh-t”), only for him to become a social media superstar?

And, Don’t Forget to Earmark These Pages!

Page 137Renegades Write the Rules isn’t comprehensive; at 187 taut pages, the book focuses primarily on the power of Twitter and Facebook. A single page (hint: it’s 137), which shares Amy Jo Martin’s alternative to defining ROI as Return On Investment – suggesting instead a new paradigm she calls Return on Influence – could be worth the book’s price for marketers struggling to quantify the value of social media.

There’s a single paragraph that sums up the promise of smart social media marketing better than anything I’ve seen – it begins on page 153, where the author suggests that social media “takes the humans behind your brand engaging the humans in front of your brand in ways that make your general business strategy about adding as much value to as many people as often as possible.” Tattoo that on your wrist and tweet it.

Amy Jo has no illusions about the challenges facing marketers as they convince the C-suite to shift dollars from the safety of traditional marketing to social media tools that are viewed by CEOs as risky and rebellious. “The biggest hurdle to full-scale implementation of social media is the issue of control,” she writes. Many businesses’ best antidote to that fear could well be sharing a copy of Renegades Write the Rules with your CEO. It’s that good, that convincing, and that persuasive.

A Final Message from the Author

Amy Jo shares an exclusive video message for this book review (that was originally published on the Maccabee Public Relations MaccaPR blog). Watch for her insights into social engagement formulas and her solutions to the “innovation allergies” that pose obstacles to using social media marketing.

Amy Jo Martin Greets Maccabee Public Relations