The market is flooded with books that try to tell you how to use social media for your company. Most have pretty good ideas, but when it comes to implementation, it can be difficult to figure out how to apply all these ideas to YOUR organization. Scott Klososky’s book, Enterprise Social Technology, is the most comprehensive book I’ve read so far to help organizations roll up their sleeves and start using social media. Scott already assumes that you understand the basics of social technologies (what Twitter, Facebook and blogging are) and instead helps you understand how to set attainable goals, build an internal team to tackle strategy and implementation, and how to measure results (my kind of guy!). While the book is jam-packed with great information, I want to focus on the chapter on integrating social media with the rest of your web presence….
A Forgotten Asset: Current Web Presence
Often people forget about their website and other online sites they’ve created for their business in favor of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. But these websites are valuable assets in any online strategy. As Scott, explains, social networks are for having ongoing conversations and places like the corporate website are destinations where people go to do something specific (get information, purchase from you, request a quote, etc.). Figuring out how to unite current websites with social networks may be difficult to figure out, so Scott has provided 7 easy to understand (and follow) steps to a unified web presence:
- Identify Your Constituents – While this may be obvious, some companies have different audiences with different needs and interests and trying to serve them all in one place may be ineffective. Properly identifying who you are trying to reach is key to any marketing strategy (offline or on).
- Identify Actions – Having a clear call to action is one of the most missed parts of marketing strategies for many companies. If you spend a lot of effort building an audience, but it’s not clear what they should do next, you’re missing out on a lot of sales.
- Create Conversations – Social networking is obviously about having conversations, but to unify your web and your social networking presence, you need to have them working in concert. People should know where to find you if they’d like to ask you a question or have a conversation (beyond just a contact form).
- Define the Content Visitors Want – Some people may be interesting in your promotions, but the great majority of people aren’t interested in being advertised to. You need to figure out what information you can provide that is of interest to your target audience.
- Define Your Communication Style – How you communicate online should be directly tied to how you’d like people to view your brand. I find that it can help to list out attributes you’d like your brand to have associated with it if you thought of it as a person. Setting this style (and persona) ahead of time helps make sure that no one acts on behalf of the company in a way that isn’t appropriate. Being cool and hip may not work for a button-down accounting firm (although that would be a cool differentiator in my opinion).
- Send Advertisements – While promotion shouldn’t be any more than 10% of the content you put out, it is required in order to make people aware of your social networking presences and also to leverage your audience to increase sales. Incentives or giveaways can be powerful motivators to get people to connect with you (just look at the success of sites like GroupOn).
- Use Web Properties – You need to leverage your websites and other online presences to have places where people can take the actions you’d like them to once they’ve conversed and engaged with you on social networks. Social networks are great for short bursts of information and for having conversations, but they aren’t so great at providing in-depth information or for converting sales. Websites can help you provide the in-depth information your audience wants, as well as providing locations where people can perform desired actions for your sales process (request info, purchase, etc.).
While none of this information is particularly new (I use a lot of the same strategies with my clients), Scott presents each step with actionable items and reasoning in a way that makes them applicable to any organization. I ended up highlighting a lot of this chapter just so I could use some of his explanations to get concepts across with my clients. Breaking down the process of integrating social technology with websites into 7 steps makes the concepts more easy to digest and therefore to implement.
Here are my overall thoughts:
Pros: The entire book is broken up into chapters which each stand along fairly well. Each chapter ends with a list of key points to cement in the important topics, but which could also be used to guide implementation of his ideas. There are also some great case studies to see how social media has been used by companies to drive revenue and results.
Cons: I was expecting more in-depth examples in some cases (for example, in creating a social policy — not just in what the policies are, but how the company developed them). Some of the chapters seem more well-thought-out than others, which may be due much of the content being crowd-sourced. The chapter on measurement, for example, had steps, as well as good examples of different ways that a company could measure, but some of the topics that were mentioned within the explanations felt like they were trying to cover ground that was already covered.
Verdict: Enterprise Social Technology is a good read. If you have a company or are part of an organization, that’s trying to figure out how to use social networking within your marketing strategy, this book can serve as a great guideline for getting things started. I also think it’s a great book for anyone who is involved in social media or who is making decisions about whether to use social media because it covers a lot of the decision making that needs to be done for a social networking strategy to be successful.
If you’ve read this book, what do you think?
NOTE: All links above to Amazon are affiliate links. I was sent a free digital copy of the book and asked if I would review it. As with any review I do, this is my honest opinion. Scott Klososky is also offering the opportunity to receive a bounty for a review, etc., which did entice me to write a review, but not to write what I did. Hopefully you’ve seen that I try to be honest in my writing from the other posts I’ve written. Thank you for reading!