Likeable Social Media (@LikeableBook) Book Review

Likeable Social Media book coverA few months ago, I attended a seminar with Instant E Training on social media. Although much of the information was more geared toward beginners, I really enjoyed Dave Kerpen‘s presentation on “Facebook Marketing for Business.”

I was also delighted to receive a free copy of Dave’s new book, Likeable Social Media, which I finally managed to finish – today. (Not because it was difficult to read, boring, or anything like that. I just read a lot of books at once…)

The subtitle of the books is “How to delight your customers, create an irresistible brand, and be generally amazing on Facebook (and other social networks).” It’s quite a mouthful, but it describes exactly what this book is all about.

Delight Your Customers

If you’re in marketing, you’ve probably heard the phrase “surprise and delight.” In general, this means going above and beyond the customer or prospect’s expectations – and not necessarily expecting anything in return.

An example that comes to mind is the little goody bag that would be waiting for me in my Comfort Suites hotel room when I arrived late at night after a tedious flight. I didn’t expect it, and I was delighted.

In Likeable Social Media, you’ll learn how to surprise and delight using social media. It can be something small like featuring a “fan of the week” on Facebook or something big like giving a free product sample to every Facebook fan if the brand page reaches a certain number of fans.

Watch this video to learn more about what the author has to say about surprising and delighting:

Create an Irresistible Brand

Creating an irresistible brand should be the goal of every business. Whether you sell clothing or financial services, you want people to feel good when then see or hear about your brand. Dave provides several great suggestions for boosting brand marketing using social media (bullets are chapter titles from the book):

  • Invite Your Customers to Be Your First Fans
  • Engage: Create True Dialog with, and Between, Your Customers
  • Respond Quickly to All Bad Comments
  • Respond to the Good Comments Too
  • Be Authentic
  • Be Honest and Transparent
  • Provide Value
  • Share Stories
  • Inspire Your Customers to Share Stories
  • Admit When You Screw Up, Then Leverage Your Mistakes

Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and Other Social Networks)

Who wouldn’t want to be generally amazing? Dave provides lots of tips and examples for how to be heard and stand out in the massive amount of noise which is the social media world.

Many of the examples from the book are from Facebook, but it also covers Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and others. The appendix, “A Refresher Guide to the Social Networks That Matter Most,” is a great reminder about the social networks that are out there and the best way to use them.

What I Found Likeable

Here are a few aspects I liked about the book:

  • Lots of Examples: Anybody who has tried to teach anything to somebody else knows that examples is the best way to make the message stick. Dave and Likeable Media has worked with hundreds of clients, so they have quite the well from which to draw inspiring success stories.
  • Not Stuffy: I wouldn’t expect a book about social media to be stuffy, but I still appreciated the anti-stuffy tone of this book. Especially suggestions like allowing all employees to participate freely (but responsibly) in social media efforts.
  • Emphasis on Listening: The very first chapter of the book is called “Listen First, and Never Stop Listening.” This is easier said than done, but key to a successful social media strategy.
  • Tips on How to Say “I’m Sorry:” As the book points out, everybody makes mistakes. And with social media, these mistakes become more public, faster than ever before. It’s appropriate and imperative to take action when the company or one of its employees mess up.
  • Tips on How to Respond to Negative (and Positive) Comments: Social media is the ultimate venting platform. Before, when you had a bad experience when calling your cell phone company, you could vent to you family at dinner or to your running partner the following morning. Now, you can be online while you’re on hold with the company and vent your frustrations for everybody to see. Likewise, a happy customer may post a comment like “I love my new SmartWool socks!!!” Responding in a timely manner to the good, the bad, and the ugly is social media management 101. This book teaches you how.
  • It’s Just Good Business: This book doubles as a general business best practices book. You’ll get lots of good ideas for doing things better – from customer service to customer engagement.
  • Action Items: Each chapter ends with a small, non-overwhelming list of action items. I really appreciated this aspect of the book as it forced me to think about the concepts in the book and how to apply it to our (and our clients’) business(es).

Other Random Thoughts

Strategy, Not How-To

This books is more about strategy and less about how-to. If you are looking for help on how to set up a Facebook page or how to add social share buttons to your webpages, this book is not for you. You should still read it, but you’ll need to get guidance elsewhere for the how-to pieces.

What About Small/New Business?

I would have loved to see a chapter or two about how to get started when you have zero likes or two followers on Twitter (you and your mom). Most of the examples featured established brands. The one exception that stands out is a non-profit that raised money using Twitter. However, this is not the normal business scenario for most small businesses.

Bottom Line

This is a great business strategy book on how to improve your business and your brand using social media. It is thoughtful, trustworthy, and a delight to read. I recommend it!



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