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I recently had the good fortune to be asked to review The Executive’s Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy. It’s a great read, and a valuable guide that I will refer back to often. With many vivid examples and documented best practices, my copy of the book is completely dog-eared and underlined … an excellent sign that this book is destined to live on my desk, and not my bookshelf!
Even though I typically work with much smaller companies, internet marketing best practice is really the same whether you are large or small. Companies of every size struggle with issues including:
- gaining buy in at the top,
- finding evangelists within the organization with the right skills to champion adoption of social media,
- selecting the right tools,
- creating the content that works, and
- measuring how it all is working to produce ROI.
With regard to measuring and monitoring technology, I drooled over the chapter that described best of breed tools and methods (and resources!) commonly used at the enterprise level to pinpoint social media ROI. Smaller companies have lots of ground to make up in this regard; most of the companies I work with don’t have access to the tools or manpower to measure and optimize their investment in online marketing, which larger enterprises employ.
(Note: I expect more sophisticated tools for small business to become more commonly adopted by small business over the next 12-18 months, as business investments in social media and online marketing increase, and companies like Hubspot and Constant Contact expand their offerings for this market segment. Constant Contact is introducing social CRM in 2011 (Q2), and Hubspot is likely to increase penetration with recent investments by Salesforce.com, Google, and Sequoia Capital).
If there was one major AHA! moment for me while reading this book, it had to be the sample corporate social media policy from Intuit, found in the Appendix. I would reprint the policy here if I could, but let me just say that it starts out with “At Intuit, we’re passionate about listening to and learning from our customers,” and goes from there. They encourage all employees to participate in social networks on Intuit’s behalf, providing excellent guidelines and examples to empower their entire workforce. Having read some truly ill-conceived corporate social media policies, this was eye-opening. If you have any responsibility for crafting a social media policy, these 7 pages alone are worth the cost of the book.
Larger enterprises may need more structure and policy guidelines due to organizational complexity and size, but my takeaway is that at its core, the fundamentals of social media strategy are the same. Co-authors Mike Barlow and David Thomas have created a book rich with examples of companies that have empowered employees to connect with customers, with documented results.
If you want to learn from best practices at top companies, from crafting an enterprise level social media strategy through social media implementation and measurement, read this book!