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The Social Customer: How Brands Can Use Social CRM to Acquire, Monetize, and Retain Fans, Friends, and Followers Hardcover – Sep 6 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (Sept. 6 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071759182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071759182
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #606,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Adam Metz is the VP of Business Development at Metz Consulting where he has consulted with nearly 100 companies on how to acquire, manage, monetize, and retain customers from the social Web. Metz lives in Oakland, California.

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Format: Hardcover
The Social Customer is one of the best books I've read on practical uses and implementations of social media marketing. Given that I've read a fair number of them over the last few years, that's saying something.

The author, Adam Metz, takes the reader through a straightforward, easy-to-read summary of the concept and potential for social CRM, but that's really only part of this book. While it covers social CRM at length, this is a solid 201-level tome on many aspects of social media, which means this is a useful read for anyone wanting to go beyond the intro level and commit to the social marketing arena.

** Structure **
The Social Customer is divided into three sections:
- Section One takes the reader through an overview of the topic of social CRM.
- Section Two walks through 23 use cases of social CRM (based on Altimeter's 18 social CRM use cases, with a few extras thrown in), dividing them into six groups:
- Social Marketing
- Social Sales
- Social Support
- Social Innovation and Product Development
- Collaboration
- Seamless Customer Experience
- Section Three looks at the implementation of social CRM within the organization.

** Strengths **
While unashamedly enthusiastic about the potential and desirability of social CRM implementations, Metz is honest throughout about his thoughts on the market-readiness of the various use cases that are put forward. You never get the feeling that he's just preaching for the sake of it, but that there's a considered opinion behind the assessments.

The book is extremely easy to read. A consistent energy and enthusiasm flow through it, and the personal anecdotes lend a human feel to the book throughout.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A great book on social media, CRM and marketing Aug. 30 2011
By Mark P. McDonald - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Social Customer is the best book I have read about executing social media in marketing. That is a strong statement, but after reading more than a dozen books on the subject, from what exists right now I would recommend you read this book. Read it for ideas and new ways of thinking about social media as it applies to marketing and customer engagement - Social CRM. Here is why.

Adam Metz provides a comprehensive, well through out, and well-presented view of as much of the totality of social media, CRM and marketing as anyone.

Metz provides a simple and descriptive way to think about social CRM. Companies need to recognize that the customer is no longer just a customer but a `social customer' with different needs, ideas and wants. Your brand, product, or service is no longer just that - rather you want it to become a social object. A social object is something that people look at, discuss, and pass from person to person, put their stamp on. These simple ideas are powerful in changing the way you think about social media, branding, marketing building and CRM.

This book is more like a downloaded website on Social Customers and Social CRM than it is a book. It has a heavy focus on implementation decisions and realities rather than trying to make an executive argument about Social CRM. This is a treatment we desperately need to create value from Social CRM.

The table of contents provides the best illustration of the coverage of this book. I found these chapters break into three distinct sections which I have described below:

These first four chapters constitute the firs part of the book that lays out the concepts and argument for Social CRM.

Chapter 1: The Brand as Social Object and the Business for Social CRM
Chapter 2: The "How" and "Where" of Engagement and the Four Social Customer Scenarios.
Chapter 3: Social Customer Relationship Management
Chapter 4: Social Customer Insights and an Introduction to the 23 Use Cases of Social CRM.

The next six chapters detail the 23 Use Cases for Social CRM follow the first part.

Chapter 5: Social Marketing
Chapter 6: Social Sales
Chapter 7: Social Support
Chapter 8: Social Innovation and Product Development
Chapter 9: Collaboration
Chapter 10: Seamless Customer Experience

The third section starts at chapter 11 and focuses on the implementation and operational aspects of Social CRM. Organizational, metrics and operational issues are the focus of these remaining chapters.

Chapter 11: Metrics and Rationale
Chapter 12: The Methodology
Chapter 13: Social CRM Strategy
Chapter 14: Misunderstandings and Failures in Social CRM
Chapter 15: The 98 Percent Customer Management Model
Chapter 16: Social Customer Analytics: How to Tell if Your Team's Doing it Right
Chapter 17: Work Flows and Escalation Paths
Chapter 18: Social Advertising, The Social/Mobile Platform, and Integration with Retail
Chapter 19: The Social Customer and the Law
Chapter 20: Consumer Trust and Ethics
Chapter 21: International Feel

Now 21 chapters in less than 260 pages means that the book is not equally deep in all areas, but each chapter provides a context and links to materials you will need to consider. This book is not a series of blog posts loosely stitched together. The chapters are small, ranging form 6 - 12 pages that provide a connected view of the issue.


The book treats the topic of social CRM comprehensively considering it from all angles and aspects. I found the pieces on Social Customer and the Law and the 23 use cases particularly helpful.

Open, in the truest sense of open source and open innovation. Metz liberally borrows and builds on the solid word put forth by others from Greenberg's CRM at the Speed of Light, to Kim and Mauborgne's Blue Ocean Strategy. Metz does not claim to know everything and he builds onto these and other ideas and frameworks. This is in the true sense of open source as these additions advance everyone's thinking.

Flexible as Metz often raises issues through asking you consider various questions, conditions or situations rather than assuming that your company is the same as the others or that all situations require the same solution. This is critical to creating an implementable set of advice.


The book is a little vendor centric, particularly at the beginning where it seems that the advice, ideas and recommendations are attributed to people from Social CRM technology companies. This balances itself out as the book progresses.

The book gets a bit ponderous in the middle as you go through the 23 use cases. The march through 21 chapters make some of the middle chapters blend together so its not a bad idea to put it down and come back latter. Definitely read some of the latter chapters on measurement, the law and trust.

The case studies are short, helpful but a little too superficial to give you a sense of their issues and implementation experience.

These challenges are not insurmountable. I would recommend reading the first part of the book, Chapters 1 - 4 and then take a pause. Put the book down for a few days and then read the middle section on the 23 use cases and the last section on implementation details.

Highly recommended as an actionable, practical and integrative resource for engaging the social customer and creating your own social objects. Business Unit Leaders and CEOs will learn what social media applied to marketing and CRM are really about. Marketers and Sales professionals will get new tactics and ways of thinking about social CRM. CIO's and IT professionals will better understand the context of social CRM and the convergence of technology, marketing and the social web.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Passes The Acid Test Dec 13 2011
By Stuart McFaul - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have written very thoughtful and incisive observations about Adam's terrific book; I agree with them all, especially with the notation that this is a "Bible for Social CRM." It really should be on every social media practitioner's desk, from junior to senior. The "acid test" for the book (for me) has been the reaction of the three people to whom I've given a copy (yes, I'm that impressed); all three of these folks are experienced social media consultants. Their response? "I'd love to give this to my clients so they could understand the value we're bringing to them." "This reminds me of all the things we could -- and should -- be doing." and (my favorite): "This is the book I wish I'd written if I had one damn minute and was that smart." My carry-away? If you're not a social media consultant, read it to understand what social media can do for you; if you are a consultant, give one to your clients... it'll make you look smarter.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Necessary Dec 13 2011
By David Challacomb - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well written book discussing aspects of marketing that are new and changing. It is relevant to big business, and more importantly to government and education. I hope the ideas presented will be appreciated and put into practice by a wide audience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Amazing Nov. 2 2013
By Salvador G. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really amazing easy to read / understand book. I recommend it to every one that is looking for CRM knowledge.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Social Customer Proves Helpful to Law Firms Nov. 10 2011
By Lace - Published on
Format: Hardcover
We were primarily curious what Adam had to offer our clientele and the legal industry at large. Could his book of DYI knowledge be of any value to law firms who are struggling to understand not only digital marketing, but also social media marketing?

The answer we found was YES!

Though it is written to assit many of the big-wig companies, we are confident it will prove to be valuable for even sole practitioners in the legal industry or small firms with one to five attorneys. Adam's book is written in a manner that is clear, articulate, and easy for any reader to put into action. He outlines every problem you've come to stumble across in developing a social media strategy. He makes an extremely compelling case for the use of social CRM systems and provides easy to execute strategies & the tools lawyers need to engage with their social customers. More so, Adam challenges every reader to research and identify their customers better; in a more realistic way.

Our favorite part of Adam's new book? He gives readers more. Throughout the book you'll find words blocked in a text, indicating a valuable downloadable resource is available for FREE directly from his website using the exclusive code. These include: whitepapers, presentations, videos, mp3's, conference ticket discounts, etc. We counted 45 (well, our intern did) so there's probably more like 50! Just kidding.

Adam's new book, The Social Customer, answers these questions and more:

How do we monetize social media in an industry that's having a challenging time, like the legal industry?

How do you we quantitatively measure our success on the social web, or track social customer data?

What legal issues should law firms be concerned with when using social media?

We recommend Adam's book to many of our clients looking to improve their interaction and engagement with their clients.