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[Review] The Real Truth About Social Media


What do small businesses Brendan’s Irish Pub and Butter Lane have in common with big brands Old Spice and Starbucks? According to Eric Harr, author of “The Real Truth About Social Media: Confessions of a Social Media CEO“, these names “get it” when it comes to engaging their audiences when it comes to social media.

Harr, an Emmy-nominated CBS TV host and founder and CEO of boutique social media agency Resonate Social Media, puts together in his book a compilation of various “secrets to social media success” aimed at helping businesses, big or small, navigate through the pitfalls of engaging customers online. And while much of Harr’s credibility comes from helping many of his agency’s clients, at least he’s honest – Harr readily concedes, in the introduction of the book, that much of the material within “The Real Truth About Social Media” will seem basic to experienced social media strategists, and is more targeted at business owners who want to start embracing social media. And many social media practitioners will probably point out that much of the book’s content is readily available online somewhere on the interwebs (Dell Hell, for example, is a tired, over-used case study).

Still, Harr does a credible job in aggregating and compiling the most valuable lessons and case studies for the business owner looking to get their feet wet in the social media space. He breaks down examples and case studies into actionable insights – set great KPIs such as “Boost online sales by 15%” instead of merely good ones like “increase web traffic”, for example – for easy reading and implementation. What I actually found valuable, personally as a social media enthusiast, was at the end of the book – the appendices! There’s recommended reading, and useful guides such as a social media policy template, a “success toolkit” and even a Hall of Fame of companies that’s done social media well.

Should you rush out and buy this book? If you’re already an experienced practitioner, probably not (although it might be good to buy it for potential clients). If you’re a business owner who hasn’t started venturing into social media and needs just that little bit convincing to dip your toes and start engaging your customers online? Definitely yes.