New media evangelist and influential thoughtleader, Brian Solis, gives a thorough breakdown of the social media landscape in his revised edition of Engage.
The book’s approach to helping others understand, and effectively apply, social media tools is rooted in the brand marketer’s point of view. Accounting for varied levels of new media expertise, Solis extensively covers all the bases in the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY AND HOWs of your brand’s social media efforts.
Dubbed “The New Media University,” the first half of the book details the various platforms and trends and that make up the Social Web. For Solis, we are continually students of new media, in a field that never stays the same for long. More suitable for those with little experience with social media for brands, readers will find that this half of the book serves as a good overview of the landscape, citing examples of companies that are effectively utilizing these various platforms.
One great thing about Engage is the way it meshes the humanistic quality of social media with strategic thinking and research. Solis declares that “social science is no longer an elective,” and encourages us to study how people are interacting in this new web. But he does so in a way that is grounded in data and applicable methods. Articulating the reasoning for and assessing the ROI of social media endeavors is still a sticky area, not entirely clear-cut.But Solis’ ardent case for the necessity of connecting with consumers in this new web is supported by best practices and useful tools that can help a manager follow brand conversations and measure success.
Therefore, the real meat of the book lies in the second half, where Solis discusses the principles of setting goals, who to engage, and how to go about it. Sections, such as “Unveiling the New Influencers” and “Tenets of Community Building,” make up the valuable nuggets that will set foundation for future social media success.
The overall tone of empowerment through immersive analysis and embrace of a new consumer mindset makes Engage an energizing read. It serves as a good foundational book, one that gives you the guiding principles to make your brand’s social media extensions successful.
Katherine Chan is a recent graduate of New York University, having studied advertising and media theory through Gallatin’s Individualized Study program. She is also the writer behind Advertising. Culture.Inspiration.