I recently received a copy of Brian E. Boyd Sr.'s Social Media for the Executive: Maximize Your Brand and Monetize Your Business, with a note telling me to enjoy reading the book and suggesting that if I were so inclined, maybe I would write something about it. Seemed like a pretty risky approach to get some publicity, so I thought I'd take him up on his offer and write this review. I don't know Brian or anything more about him than what I read in the book and the letter that came with the book when it was sent to me. From all appearances, we're competitors and I read the book with the critical eye of a competitor.
The Book Is A Good One
The book is good. It's not the best book I've ever read on the subject, but it's a good book containing valuable information for the executive. I and many other people in the social strategy consulting space provide our clients with similar advice and insight. I didn't read any new exciting discovery, but what I did read was good solid advice an executive could implement internally or outsource with the confidence that he/she now understands what it is this outside consult is doing and talking about.
It's only human nature to like things that resonate with us because the idea or thought is similar to our own thinking. The saying, "Birds of a feather flock together," rings true. What I liked most about the book is Mr. Boyd's emphasis on strategy. Right up front in Chapter 1 Social Media: What It Is And Why You Need It, Mr. Boyd tells readers "Social media takes time and careful, strategic thought. It doesn't happen by accident." He discusses the need for consistency, the time commitment required for success, the need to set goals and determine what will be measured in order to determine success "which will always tie back to the goals." This is good stuff! And it's right in Chapter 1. If you stopped reading the book after Chapter 1 and implemented what you read, you'd be leaps and bounds ahead of most of your competitors.
Mr. Boyd writes about communicating your message, connecting with your audience and converting them to customers. He discusses the importance of engagement and measuring the ROR or Return on Relationship, an important concept to understand because it is that relationship that results in conversions. While discussing strategy development Mr. Boyd writes about finding the right social media "fit" for your company and how critical this is if you're going to succeed in the space. Knowing which platforms are best for you to participate in is important. Creating a Facebook page "because everyone else is doing it," may not be the right move for you.
Content Is King
He writes that "Content is King" and suggests that pumping out lots of quality content will help you meet your goals. With this I agree, but there is not enough discussion of a critical proviso. Content is King but it must be relevant to your company and your goals. You can't just pump out content for the sake of pumping out content. The brief mention of this fact is not enough. I would have like to see more depth on this subject.
The chapter on building influence is good, but adds nothing new to the topic. The chapter on the return on relationships is helpful for those totally focused on the questions I hear almost daily, "What is the return on my financial investment in your services?" "When will I see my first new client/customer that results from your efforts?" Why is my phone not ringing off the hook with new orders." It takes time to build relationships in real life and it takes even longer to build relationships online. This is a lesson Mr. Boyd teaches well.
Toward the end of the book we circle back again to the importance of building a solid strategy (I like this!). There is a discussion about the importance of listening and keeping up with the ever-changing social world.
It's Worth A Read
The book is a good one. It contains valuable information set out in a way that executives can relate to. It's clearly a sales piece containing lots of "I tell my clients this" and "We use these tools and have our clients do this and that." But, this is to be expected. Of course Mr. Boyd want you to read the book then get in touch with him to help you kick off the development of your own social media strategy and campaign.
If you're an executive and you're still on the fence about whether your company should venture out into the social media arena, this book is a good read. It should give you the information you need to make the executive decision to take the plunge, while also providing you with some insight into some of the best practices you need to employ when doing so.
I want to thank Mr. Boyd for sending me a copy of the book. I enjoyed reading it quite a bit.