The NOW Revolution written by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund is being released today. The content of the book provided my inspiration to review it, but the subtitle “7 Shifts to make your Business Faster, Smarter and more Social” influenced my structure.
To go along with the “7” theme, here are 7 overall things I appreciate about The NOW Revolution book:
- Has actionable insight that I can immediately put into place
- Provides additional resources when appropriate, but is largely contained
- Has depth that goes beyond the normal, daily stream of social media articles
- Timeless, in that it focuses on process, not the particular technology or platform
- Provides case studies when possible
- Well written
Now on to some highlights . . .
The book is divided into seven sections and I am going to briefly describe each section and provide my favorite highlight.
1. Engineer a New Bedrock
What it means: Your organization needs to have the right culture before you can succeed at any type of communication including social media.
Highlight: My favorite example from this chapter is an extreme one, but it highlights the key principle of empowering your employees. The Ritz-Carlton allows any employee to spend up to $2000 to resolve a situation for a customer. That amount of discretion isn’t realistic for most organizations, but it does capture the idea that you have to give as many employees as possible the power to resolve situations and to represent your company in a positive way. Zappos is another company which is famous for empowering their employees to resolve customer issues and be proactive so issues don’t happen. And we see how that is working out.
2. Find Talent You Can Trust
What it means: Social media is fast paced. Decisions need to be made on the fly, and that means having talented co-workers you can trust
Highlight: Hiring people already well connected either offline or online can bring the power of their influence and social skills to your organization. At the same time, if your organization is doing it right, you are providing a benefit to new employees by boosting their profile and in some cases helping them become thought leaders in your industry. It can be a win-win for both organizations and the individual members.
3. Organize Your Armies
What it means: Whether you are a team of one or many, there has to be some organized way that you approach social media.
Highlight: Be willing to recruit anyone in your organization who truly loves social media. Their role can be large or small, but embrace employees who do it well and who are passionate about it. The way you solicit people in your company is important. Be careful to solicit social media users in such a way that it doesn’t bring in those who feel obligated to join in. Obligatory social media use is rarely successful.
4. Answer the New Telephone
What it means: Just like most businesses eventually had to accept that they could be contacted by customer via the phone, today customers are speaking about and trying to connect with businesses via social media. This chapter explains how to hear these requests and anticipate issues before they even become direct questions.
Highlight: One of my favorite stories in the book is about the national Red Cross organization. Their social media team collects all the media mentions about them each day. They take the most meaningful parts of the mentions (usually 20 of them), and distribute them internally to their employees. This lets the whole organization feel involved in the process and provides daily feedback to the entire operation.
5. Emphasize Response-Ability
What it means: Learning the best ways to respond to customer questions and issues, but also moving beyond that to actually leading the discussion about your organization and industry by creating your own stories.
Highlight: This chapter does a good job about going through the stages of listening.
6. Build a Fire Extinguisher
What it means: How to identify, evaluate and deal with social media issues, particularly crisis.
Highlight: I have to admit this was the hardest chapter for me to come up with a clear favorite part. This past month I read Peter Shankman’s book on customer service. His book dealt with crisis issues in such detail, that I already felt like I had a good feel for the issue.
In the end, I think the biggest takeaway from this chapter of The Now Revolution was “say you’re sorry”. It seems to be a basic human instinct that if you are trying to the do the right thing in general, and you do make a mistake, if you acknowledge that mistake and say you are sorry, people will forgive and move on. So in the end, if you are wrong, say you are sorry.
7. Make a Calculator
What it means: Return-on-investment. How to identify what you want to achieve with social media and how to track those results in order to better meet those goals over time
Highlight: This chapter was one of my favorites. It did a good job of truly explaining how to use different metrics and approaches based on what your actual goals are. It dealt with sales, conversions, leads & loyalty, and provided a step-by-step approach for setting up good metrics practices depending on goals.
Don’t feel like my highlights are representations of the book. Any one highlight is less than 1% of the content of any one chapter. I just wanted to provide some of my favorite parts as examples of the kind of information that is contained in this book.
The Now Revolution came out today, February 8th, 2011. It is just a walk, short drive or simple click away from being in your hands and ready to read. If you are looking for a great social media read that can offer actionable ideas for your organization, look no further.