I recently received a copy of No Bullshit Social Media written by Jason Falls and Erik Deckers and I can say that it delivers what exactly what the title promises. It provocatively takes the assault on social media fluff and walks the reader through practical advice and backs it with numerous examples on how businesses can use social media to grow the bottom line.
The book is laid out in an organized fashion to help the reader understand what should be considered in their social media program including customer service, internal processes, social media policies, crisis communications and of course, ROI. While reading, I found myself making notes as to the steps I can do to improve my social media program – so it’s definitely a book that’s not only for social media novices and curmudgeons.
I think this book would be best read by those who are either ‘on the fence’ about social media or those who are implementing a permanent, scalable social media program in their business. Basically, if the question of ROI is on the table, this book helps shape the discussion by framing it around business benefits that can be measured beyond just revenue.
I have to say that my favorite chapter was about the ROI discussion. It helped me reconsider my views on the topic of ROI. Not just revenue, but to actually find meaningful metrics that others in the business can get behind. Another favorite section I enjoyed was about the campaigns that have been controlled by a company’s audience and still delivered favorable results. I loved how they didn’t just rehash the same stories like ‘Dell Hell’ that we’ve all heard of. They did a good job examining what Papa John’s did to make the most of their fan-generated content and being flexible. Likewise, they did the same for a failure in crisis communications with an example from Nestle. (I imagine if they had an extra month or two before hitting the print, they would open up vociferously on Ragu.)
My only critical feedback – of which you may or may not agree with – is how hard and sharp Falls and Deckers criticize the softer motives for getting into social media. I think those motives are essential and shouldn’t be viewed with contempt. I’ve found that companies who are at least satisfied with their social program (but not complacent), they adopt a higher purpose in using social media. When social media is viewed solely as a business necessity and not culturally-adopted, it will be met with lackluster creativity, de-humanized connections and a ‘we have to do it’ mentality in an attempt to push more clicks and conversions. They address these concerns with the chapter on Community; nonetheless, these softer points are harshly criticized at the outset and throughout the book. However, it’s written for the business leaders who are looking to scratch that itch about ‘value’ of social media, not necessarily the cultural motives and benefits.
I highly recommend No Bullshit Social Media to anyone who is considering making the jump into social media, expanding their social media program or are simply looking for a primer on gleaning more value from their social media marketing efforts. If you’re looking for pretty pictures, acronyms or unicorns, look elsewhere.
Who this book is for:
- Communications/PR Professionals
- Social Media Strategists/Specialists
- Entrepreneurs/Business Owners
- Marketing and Sales VPs and the C-suite
Who this book is not for:
- If you are easily offended by the word, “bullshit.”
- If you already are highly satisfied with your social media program.
- If your organization fully leverages social media for marketing, PR, sales, R&D and support.
- If you are unable to cause and lead change in your organization.
- If your product or service is crappy. However, it does offer several ideas to improve it.
Since the book just launched, you can download a free chapter that sets the tone and style for the rest of the book. Also, Infusionsoft is sponsoring a special ‘virtual book tour’ webinar hosted by Jay Baer from Convince and Convert on 11/1/11. The first 250 attendees on the webinar will receive the book free.