The book starts off with an introduction which describes one of the author’s personal experiences—He lined up for nearly an hour to check in at Aria hotel, one of the trendiest hotels in the city. He had arrived after a 6-hour flight from New York and the last thing he wanted was to waste another hour waiting in line, so he pulled out his BlackBerry and tweeted: ‘No Vegas hotel could be worth this long wait. Over and hour to check in at the Aria :(’ Aria didn’t tweet back but Rio Hotel, a competitor, did.
Surprisingly, Rio Hotel didn’t tweet ‘Come on over, we have no line’; instead, they tweeted: ‘Sorry about the bad experience, Dave. Hope the rest of your stay in Vegas goes well’. And indeed, Rio Hotel was the hotel he stayed at the next time he went to Las Vegas. Essentially, Rio Hotel earned a $600 sale from one tweet. The introduction finishes off with 3 things that social media can and can’t do for you: 1. It cannot make up for a bad product or organization; 2. It won’t lead your company to overnight sales success; and 3. It is not free as it is generally regarded—it takes a great amount of time and effort.
The book then continues with 18 chapters, a conclusion and an appendix. Each one of the chapters describes a different strategy that will help you ‘utilize social media to become more transparent, responsive, engaging, and profitable’.
A quick glance at selected chapters
Chapter 1 – Listen first and never stop listening. IBM’s Listening for Leads social media campaign where people called ‘seekers’ listen and look at conversations from users of social media sites helped uncover millions of dollars worth of sales leads.
Chapter 3 – Think and act like your customer. How many of you listen to and enjoy radio commercials? Think about what you feel when you receive or experience some of these advertising and marketing tools: direct mail, flyers handed to you on the street, emails in your inbox from marketing lists you don’t remember signing up for or telemarketing. Do not interrupt your consumer; put yourself in the consumer’s receiving end. Be likeable, not disruptive.
Chapter 6 – Respond quickly to all the bad comments. DND or do-not-delete rule refers to the rule that unless a comment is obscene, profane, bigoted, or contains someone’s personal and private information, never delete it from a social network. Companies that delete negative comments about their brands through social networks will disappoint the affected users, who will react by giving negative word-of-mouth to their friends about your brand. Due to the nature of social networks, this can have a devastating impact on your brand’s reputation, especially if the affected customer is a celebrity or a high-profile individual. To put it in perspective, Facebook users have 130 friends on average. One status update with a negative comment about a company will be seen by some of those 130 friends–if not all. But each one of those friends will also has on average another 130 friends. Think about the impact. Now imagine if it is a high profile individual with a few thousand friends.
Chapter 8 – Be authentic. Develop an authentic voice by showing humanity in your interactions with your customers, instead of sounding scripted. Models, processes and scripts will not help you connect with your consumer. Demonstrate a personality and truly seek to understand your customer. Chapter 18 – Don’t sell! Just make it easy and compelling for customers to buy. If you engage your prospects online, have a great product or service targeted toward the right people, and make it painless and compelling to buy whatever you’re offering, then you don’t really have to do any selling at all. The sales will come.
Throughout the book, the author talks about some Facebook features, in particular their ad platform. He emphasizes its power, reach and simplicity in targeting very specific audiences. That is, companies or brands looking to advertise on Facebook can target their ads to very specific people who have certain interests, job titles, relationship statuses, age ranges/demographics and even lets you target friends and connections of your current fans.
The book’s appendix is A refresher guide to social networks that matter most. It goes through the different uses of social networks. It focuses on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, foursquare, YouTube and their main features and what it can do to help build your brand.
What’s likeable about ‘likeable social media’ by Dave Kerpen?
‘likeable social media’ is a light yet great and interesting read for those interested in marketing, social media and how to best use them to attract customers and make them genuinely love your company and brand.
There is at least one example (generally more) to illustrate each one of the 18 strategies discussed in the book. The examples come from either personal experience from the author, experience through the author’s customers and their social media campaigns and from other high profile social media initiatives by other companies and brands. The examples sometimes include Facebook screenshots of particular comments or responses made on companies’ fan pages that were either good or bad, successful or failures, depending on the topic explained and it clearly illustrates the idea the chapter is trying to get across.
I believe that the tips or strategies written in this book not only apply to marketing and businesses or brands, but also to personal life. If you are looking not only to be a likeable brand and to boost your company’s image or brand through social media, but also for a self-help book on how to be a generally ‘likeable’ individual, I recommend this book. This is a good read for anyone involved in marketing, social media campaigns and public relations–although each of us is, in some way our own marketer, social media manager and PR spokesperson.