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Engage!: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web Paperback – Mar 15 2011
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From the Inside Flap
Social media has democratized influence, forever changing the way businesses communicate with customers and the way customers affect the decisions of their peers. With platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, anyone can now find and connect with others who share similar interests, challenges, and beliefs—creating communities that shape and steer the perception of brands. Without engagement in these communities, we miss major opportunities to shape our marketing messages.
However, use of the tools does not guarantee that people will listen. Engagement is shaped by the interpretation of its intentions. In order for social media to mutually benefit you and your customers, you must engage them in meaningful and advantageous conversations, empowering them as true participants in your marketing and service efforts.
With Engage! as your guide, you can effectively compete in this new era of digital Darwinism while engendering the support of online champions. Social and participatory media significantly contribute to the success of every modern business, and with this book, you will find out how to:
Create a space in the online ecosystem that truly represents your business and cultivates your customers' loyalty and trust
Participate in the unique culture of each available social media platform to engage your customers
Establish an organizational structure that constantly targets the next new media trend
Attract online champions and change agents who will uncover the social networks you need to reach and the influencers who will help build your reputation in the networked world
Consistently adapt your company to market needs and trends based on the invaluable connections you forge and the empathy and insight you garner in the process
There are thousands of customers waiting to hear from you about your business and vision. It's the minimum ante to create a vibrant and loyal online community. When you engage, you will build an authoritative social network that increases your visibility, relevance, influence, and profitability. It's time to Engage!
From the Back Cover
The ultimate guide to branding and building your business in the era of the Social Web
"The road from where you are to your business' future is neither paved nor marked. It's yours to discover, and this book is your compass to leadership."
—Peter Guber, CEO, Mandalay Entertainment Group
"Affinity is personal and emotional. Without personifying the company and what it symbolizes, it's difficult for customers to connect with your brand. The concepts from this book can help your brand engage in a way that inspires communities to extend your message, promise, and reach."
—Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com
Social media has forever changed the way businesses and customers communicate and also the way customers make their decisions. With networks like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, anyone can now find and connect with others who share similar interests and goals—creating communities that shape the perception of brands.
Engage! tells you how to reach customers where they go for information and how to build valuable relationships that will also shape the future of your business. This revised paperback edition, with a Foreword by Ashton Kutcher, dubbed "Mr. Social" by Fast Company magazine, describes the steps required for conceptualizing, implementing, managing, and measuring a social media program.
With this book, you will find out how to:
Create a welcoming online space that cultivates your customers' loyalty and trust
Attract online champions and influencers who will help build your reputation and increase attention
Understand and adapt to market needs based on the insights you gain from engagement
Measure your success and ROI
Your customers are waiting to hear from you.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Secondly, the author writes like a used car salesman selling a lemon. I am not saying the messages are bad, but the tone used to relate them is far too infomercial-like, and apocalyptic, as another commenter has said. "Engage or die?" Please.
I am lost in the maze of words piled upon words nonsensically, such as: "The essence and usefulness of each important and distinct word is slowly migrating into a hollow of obsolescence...." How many monkeys at how many typewriters were used to generate this?
So, my questions are: Who wrote the 5-star reviews? Did they actually read the book? One person said they use it like a textbook and underlined important passages. Will I get to that part soon? I am on chapter 3 and just about drowning in the overwritten, overwrought, self-congratulatory prose.
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK.
The first half of the book surveys the world of social media in general, describing all the aspects of social interactions and their impact on corporate marketing and communication, as well as customer service departments. Traditional marketing schemas have irreversibly imploded under the pressure of a crowd represented in a "conversation prism" that factors in behavioral guidelines implicitly or explicitly set by the multiple socialization channels. So marketers must listen. What can they do with so much information? "Instead of inhibiting the pace and breadth of information flow, we must channel relevant details and data," a task that does not only require "attention" (nice reference to Linda Stone's Continuous Partial Attention), but also some understanding of applied social sciences or researchers' and analysts' categorizations (such as Charlene Li's and Jeremiah Owyang's Socialgraphics). Achieving a state of the art "unmarketing" to use a time-stamped word by Scott Stratten - i.e. rebuilding a marketing strategy from the bottom up - entails, for many companies, a serious reassessment of some entrenched marketing habits. Hence the resolutely didactic approach of the two parts of the book: "The New Reality of Marketing and Creating Customer Service" and "Forever Students of New Media."
The second half of the book comprises four parts that detail the new responsibilities that come up with the potential of social media, and focuses more specifically on what a "new marketing" approach may look like. One of the most remarkable sections is related to "defining the rules of engagement." It unambiguously shows to the skeptics that the social media revolution is not a passing phenomenon spurred on or controlled by influencers, but the reality of today's computing, one of the incarnations of the social Web, and that it is set to transform every single company from the inside. The examples of IBM's and Intel's guide-lines (and its digital IQ Program) do not only demonstrate the forward-thinking intelligence of people like Bryan Rhoads or Ken Kaplan, but also the proactive approach of highly regarded companies as they define new roles and responsibilities to adapt to a new world. Digital intelligence is not simply the prerogative of a handful of gurus appointed to task forces or advisory boards, it will also be part of the job description of most employees in the close future if they want to be up to par with educated customers. The scope of the book stops here, but it's clear that the social media revolution will lead to the reassessment of corporate cultures, employee empowerment methodologies, and linguistic and artistic skills. "Unmarketing" just like any vibrant "marketing" starts from within. Corporate stonewalling doesn't have too much future.
End result: a serious book that gathers the Zeitgeist (and will bring many people up to speed with trends and idioms). Somewhat voluble, yet kindly extroverted and definitely useful if you want to create a social media plan.
He is no social media pretender or self proclaimed Social Media Guru, he is the real deal and I highly value his insight.
That said, I really did not enjoy reading this book. Sure, there is some valuable information in there, but it's buried in a sea of overwritten prose, that flat out sucks the fun out of Social Media. Words like "elucidate" "facilitate" "social architecture" and "threshold" dominate, making my eyes heavy and my interest wane. I wish Solis would have put away his thesaurus and just told it like it is.
Social media really isn't that complicated, so why make it so?
After finishing university, I promised myself, I would never again read a piece of over stuffed academic writing again. Sadly, I just did. Sorry self, I'll try not to break our promise again. Or as Solis would say, "I will strive to follow a course of action, that will ensure in the utmost that I will not again breach a condition set verbally, or otherwise in regards to my personal conduct, henceforth.
Content = 4*
Readability = 1*
Overall = 2*
With a surfeit of so-called social marketing `experts' now in the marketplace, how can a brand be sure they are getting the best advice and a full understanding of the expanding number of options available to accomplish this mission? Enter Brian Solis. In recent years, Solis has emerged as one of the foremost experts on social marketing. His new book, `Engage! The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web,' offers a truly comprehensive guide to managing a company's online brand awareness and customer interaction that is second to none.
Solis opens the kimono on everything from establishing a company's initial messaging goals and approach to a deep dig into the tools and platforms currently available to facilitate and evaluate the success of an effective social media campaign. While admitting various brands have different needs, Solis lays out his program like a college curriculum offering fourteen chapters that create the rubric for `The New Media University: 101 to MBA.'
`Engage' reveals the best practices for establishing brand identity, reputation, rules of engagement and feedback, both through carefully planned corporate planning as well as through the use of tools ranging from social networks, widgets, feeds and more designed to facilitate the best messaging systems, listening devices and conversational workflows. Solis provides access to a broad array of resources, some so new that they aren't actually even in full operation yet when we tested their websites!
At the end of the day, Solis appears to cover every single aspect of social marketing and while the book eventually gets into some very heady stuff regarding feedback metrics, charting and tracking programs, it is clear that this book goes further than any volume we have yet to see on this subject. Whether most companies can keep up with the extensive options Solis presents has yet to be seen. Of course, this new medium is far from a static state and therefore there are clearly more platforms and tools just around the corner (Gowalla, anyone?) For that Solis offers a website to carry on from here. Well done!
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