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The No BS Guide to Social Media with Jason Falls

As head of dig­i­tal strat­e­gy for Cafe­Press, Jason Falls has some seri­ous social cre­den­tials, but he took a risk pub­lish­ing his first book – The No B*llSh*t Social Media.

If you’re in media jobs and you want to cut through the garbage and get to the point, then you’d be wise to fol­low Falls.

In pub­lish­ing that fate­ful book, he took on an entire indus­try that was grow­ing up around social media – try­ing show big brands how to suc­cess­ful­ly nav­i­gate the murky waters of online mar­ket­ing, blind­ing them with sci­ence and mak­ing big bucks. But he did it with aplomb – his wit and intel­li­gence got him through and showed the cow­boys for what they real­ly were. He gave busi­ness­es a pre­cious gift – the gift of knowl­edge.

Why Did He Write ‘That’ Book?

Falls prides him­self on cut­ting to the chase and sim­pli­fy­ing things – it’s one of his strengths and he believes that by sim­pli­fy­ing social for busi­ness­es, he can help them grow their brands.

He explains: “I’m from a very small town that con­di­tioned me to always be skep­ti­cal of the big city folks and the lines they were hand­ing me. I’m also a fair­ly sim­ple thinker … not unin­tel­li­gent, mind you, but I try to take com­plex­i­ties out of things because at the end of the day they just con­fuse me and every­one else. So when we’re talk­ing about strat­e­gy, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and social media, I try to dis­til out the non­sense and the unnec­es­sary so peo­ple learn­ing from me can under­stand it more clear­ly.

“When the idea of a book came about, there was no ques­tion what the title should be. I’m the “No B.S.” guy. It’s got­ta be that!”

He’s an hon­est guy, or at least that’s what he claims, and he’s vehe­ment­ly opposed to any attempt to prof­it from cri­sis sit­u­a­tions. He’s anoth­er expo­nent of gen­uine, cre­ative and intel­li­gent con­tent. Con­tent that engages is rel­e­vant to the con­sumer and doesn’t overt­ly ‘sell’.

Take for exam­ple his take on the online furore that sur­round­ed the death of Steve Jobs.

“I was sick­ened by the blogs and media sites that imme­di­ate­ly came out with “Top 10 Steve Jobs Lessons” and “How To Think Like Steve Jobs” posts,” he said. “In fact, my fel­low authors on Social Media Explor­er expressed inter­est in all of us (I have 12 writ­ers) chim­ing in a trib­ute post telling peo­ple what Steve Jobs or his work meant to us or what we learned from him. I resist­ed because I didn’t want to pull in cheap traf­fic as a result of his death.

“But what made it make sense for me was that we were gen­uine­ly pay­ing trib­ute to the man and help­ing our audi­ence under­stand his impact. It was respect­ful and not gra­tu­itous. React­ing to pop cul­ture, cur­rent events and what-not is a per­fect­ly fine and even smart way to cap­ture your audience’s atten­tion or even dri­ve more eye­balls to what you do. But there’s a line of deco­rum you just shouldn’t cross.”

What’s Next and Where’s He From?

Falls states that any­one employ­ing his ser­vices needs to be brave enough to fol­low his rec­om­men­da­tions and be pre­pared to make changes in they way they do things, and for this, he says, edu­ca­tion is key.

“Edu­ca­tion is the num­ber one, two and three task of any agency, firm or con­sul­tant work­ing with a com­pa­ny or brand, even years after this mar­ket shift began to occur,” he said. “I do think most large com­pa­nies are emerg­ing from the sand­box and begin­ning to think about social media strate­gi­cal­ly rather than just as tac­ti­cal exper­i­men­ta­tion, most clients I’ve dealt with are still lack­ing in edu­ca­tion, con­fi­dence and under­stand­ing of the nature of social mar­ket­ing ver­sus tra­di­tion­al means.”

Falls grad­u­at­ed from West Vir­ginia Uni­ver­si­ty and since then has worked for brand­ing and Pub­lic Rela­tions firm Doe Ander­son, before mov­ing on to the Social Media Club Louisville and Social Media Explor­er LLC. He cur­rent­ly leads dig­i­tal strat­e­gy for per­son­al­ized gift giants Cafe­Press, as well as offer­ing the world his mus­ings on jasonfalls.com

Inter­est­ing­ly, Jason is also a keen writer of humor­ous fic­tion and is always on the look­out for sto­ry ideas but he admits pub­lish­ing his work may be risky.

“One day, I’ll pull togeth­er my fic­tion short sto­ries togeth­er and pub­lish them. But I’ll need to be finan­cial­ly secure then. Clients will read them and stay as far away from me as pos­si­ble.”

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