As you head to the beaches, and because many of you in social media have trouble distinguishing your personal lives from your professional, I thought I might tap into my library of terrific books recently shared with me by leading social media practitioners, consultants, and friends of SocialMediaToday. So, no, this is not the summer to finally read Ulysses. Bone up instead on what's going on with media, marketing and social technologies and get a head start on where it will be by the fall.
As many of you know, our focus here as a company is on how social media is evolving for companies as they engage their customers, and our bias is towards their business-to-business, and business-to-government, endeavors. So while I looked at these volumes with that need in mind, I think each of these books can be useful for any company or non-profit that is looking to expand its social foot-print and find new ways to engage influencers and customers.
Engage by Brian Solis: Brian imagined our future three years ago with "Now is Gone," his terrific and by-now seminal look at social media and Web 2.0, co-authored with Geoff Livingston. Engage is just as visionary, but also practical, particularly in how it looks at the value of social engagement with customers (socialCRM). Tons of interviews were built into the book from Brian's excellent blog, but this is more than a re-cap. Very much geared to the marketer in a large enterprise, but some good stuff for small business as well.
Open Leadership by Charlene Li. I really like the way Charlene writes, concise and to the point. Her background as an analyst is helpful in the way that she digs deep into what individual companies are doing with leadership practices. Interestingly, given the title, this is not a call for anarchy at the enterprise, but instead a call for a measured, thoughtful approach to building in accountability in the social enterprise, if not traditional control. Practical approaches and detailed recommendations on strategies and guidelines are included.
CRM at the Speed of Light, Fourth Edition, by Paul Greenberg. It's been out now since December, but it's so massive that if you are like me, you are still savoring some of the best thinking about the implications of social media for customer relationships to be found anywhere. Paul Greenberg is, simply, one of the most entertaining business writers out there. And his tempered view of how social networks hold the promise of not only improved customer relations, but improved human relations, is oddly up-lifting.
Enterprise 2.0 by Andrew McAfee McAfee, who coined the phrase Enterprise 2.0, and whose work on the impact of technology on business is so long-standing in its correctness, has put together a where-we-are-now with E2.0 adoption that is particularly valuable for global concerns that have not yet been completely "sold" on the value of "ESSP"s (emergent social software platforms) for collaboration purposes.