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[Review] Going Social

If there's one thing I've learned from reading books on social media, it's that there's already a very significant shift in the mindsets of businesses towards the acceptance of using social media as a tool to engaging consumers. Indeed, tomes on social media marketing used to devote massive chapters trying to convince companies large and small to adopt the then-new marketing platforms. No longer. For example, one of the newer books in the market,"Going Social: Excite Customers, Generate Buzz, and Energize Your Brand with the Power of Social Media" by social marketing practitioner Jeremy Goldman, wastes little time in begging brands to adopt social media (in fact, just one rather short chapter) compared to many of its earlier contemporaries. It simply assumes that businesses are more than keen in social marketing, just that most have difficulty in trying to transitioning from a pure traditional marketing standpoint and integrating social media into the entire marketing mix. "Going Social" takes the reader through the steps in which companies can inject "social" into their business processes, from putting in place a proper engagement strategy, determining tone, voice and personality of the brand, as well as developing an appropriate content strategy that engages its customers. It explores the various social networks and platforms — Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest, and others — as well as useful tools to measure reach and engagement. There's useful advice in how to be customer centric on your social media platforms, and even how to conduct blogger engagement and work with online influencers. But what's truly insightful about the "Going Social" are the guest posts from social media marketers who work the trenches. Hearing big words and bigger ideas from thought leaders in the social space is nice, but there's nothing quite useful like the personal experiences of and advice from those who've deal with irate consumers on Twitter or managed potentially disastrous situations on Facebook. It also makes even more compelling reading when Goldman sometimes disagrees with the advice of a guest contributor - i.e. for example, director of e-commerce and social media at Ahava North America, Abby Lane Whitmer, argues in favor of deleting a degrading Facebook post or comment depending on its content on what she considers their marketing channel. But Goldman says such deletion can be seen to be too heavy-handed and may give the impression there's something to hide. Either way, it gives a great perspective for social marketers who're likely to be dunked into a similar situation in their professional lives. Ultimately, "Going Social" is a book that any social media marketing practitioner worth their salt should take a look at.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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  • Walter Lim

    Thanks for the review. Yes, examples from the trenches are always much appreciated.

    You know, I think the next wave is really about bringing social to the innards of an organisation. In other words, getting employees to use social tools for the purposes of interacting and learning on the job, as well as to engage with suppliers and customers at various levels.

    The challenge though is convincing people to do so, as many (particularly Asians) are afraid that it may be perceived by their bosses as being “too free”. However, I’m optimistic that things will change with the generational shifts in the workforce. :)

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