About once a month I receive a book (for free) via the Social Media Club to do a review for the Social Media Book Club. For February it is Christopher Barger’s The Social Media Strategist – Build a Successful Program from the Inside Out.
This book really is for people who work in communications or marketing in a large organisation and that want to improve the organisation’s social media presence. Or if you are a PR firm that works for these organisations and still don’t get it.
For my regular reader, the independent professional, I do highlight some points from the book that you want to apply in your business.
Book review video
This is the video of my book review:
Successful Social Media Program
The main part of this book is about the 7 elements of a successful social media program.
- the Executive Champion. The person on the executive team that does not need to know all the social media terms or be very active on it, but provides internal support for the program. He or she makes the connection between the social evangelist and the executives.
- Who owns social media. Which department or what team is responsible for social media on behalf of the organisation. Christopher gives several pros and cons for marketing, Pr, HR or customer service. In the end someone needs to be responsible.
- The social media evangelist – the face of the organisation in the social media. This person knows every thing about social media and still is able to explain it to you and me. Even though this person is the face of the company it is not about him or her, it is always about the organisation.
- ROI and measurement. This point is important for independent professionals as well. You need to know what success in social media looks like. What do you measure and when are you happy. You also need to determine where you are now, your zero point. Sales is always the most important end result.
- Legal Team – you have to work with the lawyers. You need to understand what you can and can not say in public.
- Social Media Policy – the rules. What can people in the organization do in the social media. What can your co-workers not talk about on Twitter. As an independent professional I see no reason to write a policy (who is going to fire me? Me?), however the Usage Guide has some good tips:
- Acknowledge mistakes – fast
- Never remove posts or factual errors – just explain and update
- Be respectful – always.
- Link back to others’ people posts
- Teaching – educate the people in your organisation. How does it all work. Why a policy, what is in it, what gets you fired.
What did I think about it
It is a thorough book which takes care of the most important points about social media in large organisations. I don’t work for large organisation but I feel that you can learn a lot from it if you do.
Working with social media is different for someone like me compared to an evangelist in a large organisation. The most important points are true for both of us:
Social Media is about people not technology.
Social Media is a 2-way business tool to attract customers.
Use common sense
If you are working in or for a large organisation and are working with social media it is a good book to read. It will not show you how to use Twitter or blogs, it will show you what are the important elements of a social media program.
A video from an interview that David Meerman Scott did with Christopher Barger at his GM time in 2009.