Our next book review is of Dave Kerpen’s New York Times best seller “likeable social media,” subtitled “How to DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS, Create an IRRESISTIBLE BRAND, and Be Generally AMAZING ON FACEBOOK (and other social networks).”
As the subtitle might convey, Dave has a lot to say about how to do social media right. He begins early in the book by sharing an analogy about being at a cocktail party. As with any party, you encounter a wide variety of people on social media networks; those who are great story tellers, and those who bore you to tears. Then, Dave boldly asks which person you want to see again, or maybe even do business with.
Since this review was first written, a revised and expanded version was released, which you can find here instead.
We all instinctively know who we want to hang out with at a party, but as businesses, we tend to ignore some of the most basic niceties of human communication. We forget to listen, to ask questions, and to engage with people.
Dave reminds us of the elements that make people likeable, and applies them to businesses as well. His first chapter looks at the importance of listening, and to never stop listening. From there, he stresses the importance of knowing your demographics, as well as where and how to find them, then putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, if you were your customer, what would you want?
Each chapter focuses on another aspect of likeability and how to apply it online; things like being authentic, honest and transparent, taking responsibility, responding to comments people make (both the good and the bad), providing value to the people you engage with, inspiring people with the stories you share, and integrating social media into your customers’ experience.
There’s not a lot that’s new in Dave’s book. Any child who has ever been taught their manners learns the same thing. Listen. Say “please” and “thank you.” Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes. Ask questions. Be nice. If you’ve done something wrong, apologize. Don’t be pushy or bossy. Play nice with others. Don’t run with scissors. (Well… That’s not really in the book, but you get the idea!)
However, Dave puts all of these simple things together in the context of developing a likeable social media presence for your business, even if you are hampered by regulations that hinder your ability to participate in social media. A significant benefit of using social media comes from listening to what people have to say, showing appreciation for their praise and concern for their frustrations, offering guidance when and how rules allow.
One thing I particularly liked is that at the end of each chapter, there are action items that help you to apply what you’ve just learned to your own unique situation. For example, Chapter 12, called “Share Stories (They’re Your Social Currency)” suggests that you write down your company’s founding story, and package it for easy consumption on social networks. This is more than writing a bio for your profile, or an “About Us” page on your website. This is about sharing the story that captures your unique “Why,” and it can be a very engaging and compelling connector between you and your audience.
It’s for this reason that I believe there’s something in this enjoyable book for everyone working with social media; both the newbie and the experienced veteran. So, if you’re looking for an engaging read that inspires you to be more likeable, I highly recommend reading Dave Kerpen’s “likeable social media.”
The new and revised edition of likeable social media is available on Amazon now.