This is a simple, concise and insightful book for anyone looking to better understand how to develop and implement a social media strategy for their business. Merlin does an excellent job of identifying and explaining the five strategies for social media. With the use of case studies and stories he helps the reader discover and understand effective approaches and failings in each of the strategies. Most importantly, Merlin repeatedly reminds the reader that the value in building a relationship and a strengthening a brand involves a productive, ongoing, and positive engagement with your target market. Social media is not an advertising or marketing medium, it is a forum for building trust and helping people discover ways to improve their lives. This book really brings out the difference between simply advertising and true relationship marketing with excellent tidbits and ideas to support it. A great value!
Whether you dabble in social media, are a community manager or run a digital marketing agency this is a book worth purchasing. First and foremost, great job Merlin of tackling this subject and on your first book. In today's age of social media everyone has their own opinions on how they feel engagement should be handled. This book clearly outlines the importance of having goals and strategies before you engage. It also clearly outlines 5 successful strategies that will fit most brands.
I personally loved the book because the strategies mentioned are very similar to how I run my digital agency and how I explain to clients and potential clients on how social media should be handled. My business partner and I liked the book so much because it hit close to home on our strategies and we will be purchasing this book for each one of our new clients for them to read. No matter what level you are in this profession I highly recommend reading this book because I feel you will not only learn new strategies but also get some refreshers that we all need from time to time.
Great job Merlin, I hope you continue to write as you have a gift!!
This was a surprisingly enjoyable and fast read! I never doubted the author's ability but I've read books that tout social media techniques and they usually ok at best. I LOVED this because it was paced right and full of helpful information. My favorite element were the real world example used by Merlin. I don't want to give away too much but you'll breeze through this eagerly looking for the next real world example of both successes and failures by some of today's most recognizable brands. It's entertaining and engaging, yes, but it's incredibly informative as well. Do what works. Stop doing what doesn't. This illustrates strategies across numerous sectors and makes your think entirely differently about how you SHOULD approach social media vs what most are doing today. Here's a sneak peek of what you'll find inside: Pissing matching between Taco Bell and Old Spice. A huge miss for Roomba and internet cat videos. Brands reinventing themselves and reaching an emerging customer base like Sharpie Monopoly using social media to attract attention from other major brands to promote mutually beneficial causes. The list goes and I promise you will cruise through this in 2 day max. I was frankly sad to see it end. Ok, one more sneak peek: Grey Poupon gets users to compete online AND voluntarily provides all the marketing data they could ever want. It's unreal. Get the book as a refresher or frankly buy it as a gift for someone as clueless about social media as me. You'll be making the world a better place :)
As a marketer, I enjoyed this book from the perspective of its examples and over-arching view on social media strategy. The deeper value, though, is likely to be for business owners and/or marketing professionals eager to set up a comprehensive social media plan for their organization. The author covers all the bases in terms of how social can benefit a business, giving the reader a realistic view on both the key areas of execution and the time investment required to make the work a success. Each strategy section could be a deeper book in its own right, but the author keeps things moving so that you remain focused on the overall goal of understanding and applying social media principles to your own circumstances. As a coherent, comprehensive overview of how to craft your social media strategy, I highly recommend this book.
"We as marketers and community managers need to go beyond the internal needs of our companies and fulfill the needs of the individual consumer." —Merlin U Ward
Brands, let’s talk. We get that you’ve discovered social networks and want to use them as a marketing channel. We get that you’re learning how community can benefit you. What we wish you would get, is that if you want us to help you out, it starts with what you give to us. In his book You Get What You Give, Merlin gets this.
You’re talking to people. Real people. Do you know who they are? Do you know who has looked? Who has spoken? Who has shared? Who is buying? Notice those questions include who, not just how many. As Merlin points out, “Social media is a relationship game, not a numbers game.”
Merlin is spot on in this book with relevant case studies to back up his strategies along the way. If you’re not sure how to treat your community members as real people or want ideas how how to take your strategy further with personalized engagement, read You Get What You Give.
While others have said this book is a must-read, I'll also assert this is a book is one you'll want to read. Ward puts the emphasis where it belongs, more on the "social" than on the "media" of social media. If you're not new to social, the book reinforces points you may have picked up along the way. If you are new, this does well to explain putting "why" before "how" in social media. Think in terms of *being* social and not *doing* social.
I made reference to the book in a social-strategy meeting this morning and made a recommendation to (buy and) read it. I'll gladly do so again.