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.
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.