Statistically speaking, most of you probably work for someone else. At some point, if you are the social media evangelist for your team, unit or company, you will have been asked this question: so, what’s this all about? Do we need to have a Twankerbook account? Answering the “should we” question is probably easy for active users of social platforms (if not, see below.) If your entreaties are successful, you’ll be rewarded with this question: “OK, I’m in. What are our next steps?”

Here is where you might struggle. You might naturally gravitate towards the tools – “We need a Facebook account! We need to sign up for Twitter! Quora! Spanker!” If you work for a complex organization, however – or indeed any medium-to-large corporation, this is invariably the wrong answer. The right answer, I’m pleased to say, is to read, master and then pass along the insights in the new book from David Thomas and Mike Barlow, The Executives’ Guide To Enterprise Social Media Strategy.

Image via Amazon

The first part of the title is crucial – this is, indeed, a book for managers. You won’t find social media cheerleading here. Instead, you’ll find a clear-eyed, sober and detailed look at exactly why your enterprise needs a social media strategy, and some excellent case studies, interviews and practical advice for the things a manager will really have to confront first – the internal ramifications of social media engagement.

Thomas and Barlow have crafted a marvelous balance between survey course and practical precis for the actual, tangible steps your organization will have to take in order to come up to speed with today’s social enterprise. Speed, by the way, is the operative word, but as the book eloquently states, the faster you go, the greater the need for safety belts.

The authors dive not only into the marketing and PR sides of social media, but the HR, Sales and internal communication aspects as well. Indeed, even if your company is not prepared (yet) for a public social media presence, the chapter on internal social media communications is well worth the price of the book. Whether you think your company is social or not, it is – because your employees are social. The hard numbers are that if your company has a connection to the Interwebs, the majority of your employees are using social media today (likely, at the very least, Facebook). This means that your company already has irons in the fire – and potential risk – from employee social media usage.

It also means, however, they they already possess the skills and tools to liberate and make widely available the knowledge within your own company that has heretofore been locked away in emails. I can tell you from my own corporate experience, internal microblogging and content sharing has made us a far nimbler and efficient organization – and that’s dollars in the till.

So if you’re looking to get your boss a St. Patrick’s Day gift (and who isn’t?) this is the book. I give it four shamrocks.

NOTE: Amazon affiliate links are used above.

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About Tom Webster

Tom Webster

Tom Webster is Vice President of Strategy for Edison Research, sole provider of U.S. National Election exit polling data for all major news networks. Webster has 20 years of experience in market and opinion research, with a particular emphasis on consumer behavior and the adoption of new media and technology. He is the principal author of a number of widely-cited research studies, including Twitter Usage In America, The Social Habit, and The Podcast Consumer Revealed, and is co-author of the Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Research Series, now in its 18th iteration. Reach him on Twitter at Webby2001, or on his blog at BrandSavant.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://mytwittertoolbox.com David Perdew

    Perhaps this is the best way for larger companies to tackle social media strategy from the ground up. It's going to be much more productive than the “dive in and learn on the fly” strategy that most people are following today.

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  • http://dbthomas.com/blog David B. Thomas

    Thanks very much, Tom. See you on Twankerbook.

  • http://mediamobz.com/ Pablo Sanchez

    Will need to get this for our team. Thanks for the heads up. -Pablo

  • http://twitter.com/Rachel_B_Berry Rachel Berry

    You had me at “Twankerbook.” Thanks for the rec.

  • Smallsmatt7

    Social media is an enormously helpful tool using which companies can get their information, product descriptions, promotions all embedded in the chain of networking world. Taking into consideration on the newness of this marketing method, organizations are coming up with innovative ways to develop their marketing plans.

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  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Office Assistants

    Hi This is so true! social media is an effective tool to get exposure and for creating brand awareness. the best part of social media is that you can have others opinion about your product.. i guess this is the only reason why we are seeing such a huge turnouts of companies in media’s like FB & Twitter

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